Reconnections and Transitions

This morning on my walk, I thought about a conversation I had with a dear friend yesterday who had just had surgery.

My friend and I spoke of the fragility of life as she has experienced it in her volunteer work in hospice. And late last night, I found out that another friend and former student, herself in hospice, had transitioned. I felt sad I was not able to say goodbye to her. 

One of the things my friend noted in our conversation, is that we all prepare for death in different ways. And I suppose, it is not unlike the way we choose to live our lives.

In many ways, this year has been transitional for me. It feels like an "in-between" time - somewhere between "what has been" and "what is not yet," whatever that may be. Sometimes the longest and deepest journey is the one we take within.

As I stand on the threshold of 60 years, I have been contemplating and reflecting on many things: What I still want to accomplish and experience, what no longer serves me, and how I would like to spend my remaining time here on earth. For example, I notice I no longer have any more patience for negativity - and most especially for people, situations, or things that sap my energy. I am very sensitive to boundaries - those that I establish, which I guard fiercely, and those I sense around me - in a way I have never been before.

I guard my time for solitude. For prayer. For creativity. I guess I can no longer say - I have all the time in the world.

I have spent months simplifying and am nearing the first and very comprehensive phase of a life-long journey. It feels good. I have created the necessary space in my life for whatever may come and whatever may be.

I have made recent important choices that give priority to my health. However many years I have left - I want to live them well.

But one of the most interesting things that has happened this year, is that I have made re-connections with friends, family members, colleagues and students, from all phases of my life! It amazes me, as I look back throughout the year, how many of these encounters have taken place - sometimes as often as twice a week! Some people I had not seen since the 70's, some since the 80's, and others since the early 90's.

This year I have met friends from grade school - and high school - and college. I have spent time with colleagues from my first teaching job. And connected with former students - the oldest of which are now in their fifties!

As my dear friend noted yesterday, it has given me the blessing of seeing and knowing the impact my life has had on others. And as another friend noted recently - there must be a a deeper meaning to all of this, particularly when I have served as the catalyst for the reunion of friends.

I am amazed and grateful for these blessings in my life! Sometimes I feel I am being granted an opportunity to re-live portions of my life once again, or to at least be able to look back and review them. It reminds me of the life-review that is often spoken of by those who've died and returned.

Earlier in the summer, as I recycled so many notes and papers I had held on to throughout the many decades of my life, I was deeply moved as I took the time to read and review many thank you notes, before I finally released them in deep gratitude.

It is truly a time for reconnections, greater simplicity and transitions. Maybe this is only the beginning. Or maybe I am being shown a way to ride into the sunset of my years with more gratitude.


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