As I sit riverside this morning I find it exceedingly ironic that the song ‘Who knows where the time goes’ by artist Fairport Convention, is playing gently in the background. A groovy little ditty that I am completely unfamiliar with, but find soothing and haunting as it predisposes me to feeling a tad melancholy and wistful.
This morning, as I write, the mist of the river gently sways in the dappled light, and the autumnal dance is in full procession here in Northern Ontario, And as I reflect through my melancholy, I take your hand and guide you into the recesses of my mind and all that I hold dear during this season of glorious change.
This is the season for me. The one that I look forward to all year long. It marks MY New Year, as I am an October baby. And to all who are familiar with my inner world, this is the season of change for me. This is the time that I reflect, get quiet, turn in and take a sober look at the year that has past, and then turn my head gently toward the coming months.
As long as I can remember I have set a golden flame around personal accomplishment and goal setting, and have set it alight in the month of October -with quiet hope for the year ahead.
However, this year is different. For not only am I reaching a MONUMENTAL birthday (yup, 50th!…this is where you tell me how young I look for 50 and where I laugh and feel grateful for your keen ability to present dishonest information in a loving manner) but I also feel myself leaning more towards looking behind me, than I do to looking ahead. Why? Probably because it is a BIG YEAR…..but the 49th year of my life has found me saying a load of goodbyes, in turn causing me to look back.
My goal this past year has been to ‘show up’ which involved clearly laid out ways of getting there such as;
- Being present
- Leaning into life a little bit more and taking my foot off the gas pedal of any given day
- Looking people in the eyes and really hearing them and caring for them
- Loving people a little more through clearly executed & purposeful acts of kindness
- Chasing adventure and spontaneity a little more
And guess what? I did ALL OF THOSE THINGS….but best laid plans, the power of God and the Universe’s profound artistic delivery of giving you EXACTLY what you need found me staggering through loss after loss as I kept up my goal of being present through;
Ensuring nothing was left unsaid to my Mother-in-Law (who raised me for 30 years, was my mentor/Mum/challenger/truth-teller & #1 fan) as she left this world
Saying goodbye to a dear Haliburton friend and supporting his wife (my fellow tribe member) who provided us with 17 years of love, kindness, debate and propriety in a world that no longer honours those PHENOMENAL character traits
Guiding my children (and their friends) through the throes of devastation at the untimely loss of a teenage friend created by intolerance & hatred in a rural Northern community
Holding space for said community as I unexpectedly and with zero preparation , officiated the funeral of said teenager
Supporting my family as we lost our ‘therapy cat’ of four years unexpectedly and during the post-funeral kid-fest of support at our home
Remaining present to one of my lifetime friends grief as she and we said goodbye to our ‘Mother Murphy’ through song and tears of gratitude for all that was
Listening to one of my long time loves, compatriate, tequila-affair partner in crime, unconditional giggle mate and loving friend say goodbye to us as he rode in an ambulance (sirens shrieking) in complete calm and with dignity and grace to a potentially life-threatening and ultimately life-taking surgery
I showed up! I did……I told my Mum-in-Law EVERYTHING I felt. I wrote her emails, told her the truth of how she affected my life. Watched her light up as I informed her of the miraculous and beautiful things she had said and done over 30 years – for I remember everything….always.
I held space of those I loved, those I love, those I don’t know but shared a communal love with
I listened through tears
I sang to my darling friend as he lay in hospital – never to return to us
I swam into the abyss and darkness of hollow grief over and over again
Yet I still rise. And that’s the beautiful thing about life. It is only by going through our challenges that we can find ourselves on the other side, a little lighter in many ways but forever scarred in others.
So….what is my goal for my 50th year you may ask? What have I learned through year 49 that I can carry forward into the next? Well, that is private. This year, this one time,
I will hold a quiet challenge for myself that includes showing up, but focuses on making my time on this planet matter just a little bit more.
I suppose the lesson learned encompasses the old adage ‘ don’t look back you aren’t going that way’. However, if we don’t stop to do that. If we don’t take the time to consider and pontificate our personal journey’s on this planet, and how we can do a little more to make this world a more beautiful place – then what’s the purpose of life?
I’m hopeful that this Thanksgiving weekend gives you time for pause my lovely one. I hope that you can count your blessings, but also consider how you can provide them for others. Shine on my beauty. xo