Integrate…my guiding word this year. A word I don’t really care for the sound of and haven’t been able find a prettier, more beckoning synonym for. A word, tho’, that best describes the work going on inside me. Work that is wanting to express itself in my actions as well, but that is always much slower in coming into being for me.

It is still Winter, and I continue to take my days gently. It is the best medicine for my nights, which are broken so often now with hot flashes. I smile to think of the last year when mild, warming waves came to me regularly. Strong enough to keep a fan nearby, in case, but so easy. How Lesley-like, I thought, thinking I was getting off lightly. That all changed a few months ago. And even more recently, deep chills have been added to the mix. And goosebumps so powerful there should be another word for them…ostrich…emu? But they feel more wondrous than scientific. And I feel as tho’ I am being rewired.

And I suppose I am…in body…in mind…in soul. In deep ways and everyday ways. But it’s so easy to keep doing and being in the same old ways. My word is there to keep my attention on actually weaving the understanding and experience I have from all of these years on the planet into some new ways. And I have a feeling that will be the work of more than just a year! The closest poetical word I found to describe the process I am in is ripen. The rosehip metaphor that has accompanied me since the beginning of this menopause journey gave me that one.

I am glad the growing of a rosehip woman is less straightforward than it is for the rose. There is so much sustenance in the seeds I hope I am nurturing…for myself and my world. Or so I whisper to myself as I grow…