“No single thing abides, but all things flow”
I am taking comfort in this view, one that Gladys Taber shared when she was writing about the arrival of spring in one of her Stillmeadow books. We recognize it in the circling of the seasons, this flow…not so easily within our selves. At first glance, my life looks anything but flowing lately. It often feels sputtering and muddled to me, not at all flowing. But if I take a longer view, I can see that none of my muddles and sputterings have abided…nor the joys and times of certainty…but that all of it, taken as a whole, is a flow.
It is very much like the weather, I suppose. We look forward to spring looking and feeling a certain way, but of course, it may not unfold that way. Yet…it is spring! And it will come around again a year (or so) from now in the flowing of the seasons. My sixtieth birthday was very lovely, but I weighted it with too many expectations…that I would have so much sorted out by the time it appeared. Everything that wasn’t sorted out and that has happened since-my mom’s sweet car breaking down…a biopsy on a mole…getting behind in my watercolor class…still thinking about cake (wasn’t it pretty?) when I want to be happy with my nourishing, pared down meals…intending to have all my rhythms and routines nicely arranged but not actually getting there, yet. And so on. I am up and down hourly and daily, but again, with a long view, I am flowing.
Do you do this, too? My dreams are of the same flavor, I am always trying to get from one place to another and finding it a challenge. At least, the challenges have lessened. I used to find myself at the bottom of a staircase that I could never fit in, on, through. Now, the staircases are roomy and inviting, but there are still obstacles further on. I am encouraged by this progress over the years, tho’, and will try to remember more often that I make progress in my waking life, too, with each little step I take…to repair the car (or-sob!-get a new one)…make yet another doctor’s appointment…lure myself back to my painting spot…and put those rhythms down on paper finally-or accept that that’s just not my style. We’ll see.
One of those longed-for rhythms is posting here. I’ve promised to be more consistent with it, without actually managing it. But here I am today. And every fortnight or so, I hope to be here in the future. From the emails and notes I receive now and then, I know there is a hunger for glimpses of older women’s lives…our dear, everyday lives. Another one of those expectations I had was that my menopause journey would be over by now, that I would have crossed a threshold into vibrant, confident days after the wonder and travail of the past many years, that it would make for steadiness in all parts of my life. Well, I am still on that threshold, and anything but steady, but there is plenty life to be lived and relished. I’ll try to share about mine more often.
And perhaps it’s not just the elderwoman piece, but that I am woman with hopes and fears, insights and visions, the ordinary and the not-so-ordinary…but I struggle to bring them into being. I am not an expert or particularly skilled in something that many are waiting in line to share in, just a woman who found that putting words and pictures together many years ago satisfied something in myself and enough others that I keep blogging, making lovely places out of pixels and paper, baring my soul or just my missing Vera after seven seasons with her, turning to my kindred spirits out there in the world as we navigate this brave, new world…erractically and imperfectly…but with love, that I send along with the clicking of “publish.”
P.S. The comment link is at the top of the post, please use it if you feel drawn to…comments are so welcome to me. Or share with a friend, pin to your boards…
Laurie A March 28, 2019 at 10:23 am
Thank you for keeping this gentle and beautiful place to visit. I’m also navigating my 60th year, and enjoying the journey. A neighbor of a similar age has decided to begin a women’s gathering at her home. Though an introvert mostly content with my own company, I look forward to what we can share with one another. I’ll be sending good thoughts about the mole.
Lesley March 29, 2019 at 10:09 am
You are very welcome, Laurie. I admire how steady you are with your blog and I enjoyed a visit there a few days ago.
How lovely! A women’s gathering. I would do the same if I knew enough kindred spirits here. At least, on my birthday, a dear friend spent most of it with me. We are going to try to do more of that, ramble together through the woods, share a meal. xo
Jenn April 11, 2019 at 1:04 am
Oh thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and experiences. I find them so valuable and hopeful. Your journey is so interesting to me because I am in a very different season of life – in my 30s, raising small children, working, rushing, tending. As a matter of fact I just disabled my own blog because it all just seems too much sometimes to even just do the bare minimum most days. It’s a great comfort to read your, and other women’s stories. Thank you for the time you put into your work!
Lesley April 11, 2019 at 10:58 am
Such a lovely message to find, Jenn! I believe you are wise to draw back from blogging at this time in your rich life. I’ve been grateful that the internet didn’t exist when my children were very young, because I know what a pull it can be to join in. But those years, especially, are so precious and it is good to create boundaries on your sweet world, as much as you want to.
Thank you dearly for commenting…it makes the work worthwhile! xo
Sharon Moore April 11, 2019 at 1:23 am
Lesley, I appreciate your writings and savor both your photos and the thoughts you share. We women have much to teach, and learn from, each other. My recent, “big” birthday was 70, but I mostly feel much younger.
Lesley April 11, 2019 at 11:00 am
Thank you so much for letting me know, Sharon. It’s delightful to find your comment and one from a young mother in the same morning. I do love our women’s circles and connections. And I love to hear about women in their ’70s, ahead of me on the path. Happy belated Birthday!