The turning leaves and crisp breezes usher in a time to reflect. The old fades away like the vibrant autumn colours of the Bittersweet vine and with it comes the hope, that someday soon, spring will poke its fragile head up through the barren ground again.
September, the month of my birth brings even more time for reflection. The melancholy moments of reliving the past. The people, places, and memories that have somehow collided to make me who I am today.
The youth so carelessly spent: omnipotent and fearless, grabbing the best of what I thought life should be, the middle years of anxious busyness, child rearing, and playing the role of adult-- and now that what some might call ‘the golden years’ loom large in the not too distant future, what will change?
What have I learned about life? Do I have regrets? Is it ever too late to start again- to move closer to my genuine self? And what of the physicality of it all? It seems that my ‘20 something’ year old self is still trapped inside this ‘50 something’ year old body. A body once taken for granted as I climbed and raced and gave in to all the pleasures life could offer. A body, that I now work so hard to try and make it come close to doing what it once had.
Don’t misunderstand, I am grateful for each passing year. The strands of silver and gold laced through my red hair are simply natures highlights, the lines that crinkle near my eyes a reminder of all the laughter I have shared, but in my soul I now know things that I could not have known in my youth. Important things. Things that only experience can teach us. As the clock moves forward, so does my ability to better understand the world around me. To understand what is worth focusing on and what is not worth fretting about.
People come and go, families break apart and come together once again, true friends remain over decades while the acquaintances ebb and flow, yet, each one creates a small place inside us where the memory remains. Each giving or taking a little bit of our past that shapes the future.
Sometimes I lament the crime of not knowing these things sooner. The wish that I had seized more of life…If I’d only known. But, then I again realize that none of it would be true because I would not be the same person I am now. I no longer covet the life that did not turn out as planned. The phrases “be careful what you wish for” and ‘aren’t you glad some things did not turn out as hoped for’ now remind me that it was perfect as it was. As it should have been.
No, my life is not perfect. Some would say, far from it, but I now choose the simple things, the important things to gauge my success. And while I have so much to be grateful for, I have always been a little greedy. Always reaching for just a little more. One more adventure. Stepping outside the norm. Not quite satisfied. Searching. As if the ever elusive brass ring is not meant to be caught, simply to be reached for. A leg up to the next level. The climb. Moving forward. Continuing to live, grow, love.
I look forward to the years ahead. Along with the gentle nudges that help me to understand what needs to be gracefully surrendered, I will continue to strive for what can be accomplished regardless of age, propriety or physicality. Transforming my reality once again to encompass the peace, the knowledge, the knowing.
What is it that I know? Probably not much, however, the one thing that has always been certain and will always be true in my soul, is that in the end, love is what truly matters. What always remains. It is eternal and I believe the only thing we take with us when we leave this life. So, love each other and yourself, laugh until you see wrinkles, make more memories and know that if your life is not exactly how you thought it would be, keep living anyway, you may just catch that brass ring after all.