May is traditionally a time of graduation. It’s also a month that is very unsettled in terms of weather, with winter not wanting to loosen its grip while spring and summer await impatiently backstage for their time to take a bow. Throw in Mother’s Day for a healthy dose of emotion and you have a period of time that can make you feel a bit unsteady. Recently, the zigzag of temperatures mixed with the mortar boards flinging in the air made me think back to when I stood on that overlook…wondering where I was going next, what would I become, and had I chosen the right road.
Back then, it felt like I had forever ahead of me, and I was sure that no matter what path I chose, I would end up in the “right place.” Since then, I’ve realized it’s not so easy to know which fork in the road is the right one. More than once along the way it’s felt like I went the “wrong” way and would surely tumble into an abyss. I’m a baby boomer after all.
I thought I’d be young a lot longer.
Lately it’s also felt like maybe part of me split off a long time ago…the part that had all those dreams and ideals and aspirations. While my practical self waded through jobs, tax payments, mortgages, failed relationships, arthritis, and a few extra pounds, my “real” self was out there, waiting, for me to come to my senses so my “real life” could start.
Crazy. And exhausting. Maybe it’s time for the two to come together.
Maybe it’s time to realize they’ve both been in me all along. I think that’s one of the great joys of growing older: coming to peace with who we are. Who we really are.
I ran across a wonderful poem by Derek Walcott that says it so nicely:
Love After Love —by Derek Walcott
The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome, and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf, the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
What a nice image. To greet all you are and have always been with love and acceptance.
To celebrate all of it, good and bad, beautiful and not-so-attractive, smart and foolish.
“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”Rumi