A Bittersweet Farewell
Dawn blossomed this morning well before I awakened, it’s high summer in my part of the world and the sun has just passed its zenith. Imperceptibly the days grow shorter, but for now they still seem to stretch forever.
This inevitable slide toward darkness and winter always washes me with a bit of melancholy. Here it is, light still glowing on the clouds till nearly midnight, and I’m already mourning the passing of summer.
It reminds me a bit of the piercing sense of loss I sometimes feel when I contemplate how far I’ve come from twenty.
This spring, as I waited and waited for my next period, noting all sorts of new and unpleasant changes in my body (dryness, hot flashes, night sweats, creaky knees) a sense of grief would intermittently consume me.
Whither that maiden I once was?
The innocence, the sense of promise, the safe knowledge that so much was before me, so many untested waters, lovers, adventures, babies, careers.
The supple skin, thick lustrous hair, lubricated joints. All just taken for granted. In fact not appreciated at all in my maiden years.
That same sense of promise Mother Nature delivers when those first tiny buds appear in early spring.
I want to weep sometimes for this lost maiden, who still lives inside me in so many ways, still questing still wondering. Because now, somehow, so many of those anticipated years have unfolded, unraveled themselves into minutes, hours, days.
Now, I’m swinging the other way. I don’t know where this lifetime stands in the wheel of the year, but I’m pretty sure it’s well past summer solstice.
It could be so easy to sink into sadness about all the opportunities I let slip away, the books left unwritten, sexual encounters spurned.
And then I remember:
Hey wait a minute! It ain’t over till it’s over!
Just because my hair has begun to thread with silver, just because I have to baby my knees a little more when climbing up that mountain, just because a new texture slowly takes over my skin – that doesn’t mean I don’t get to jump out and embrace the life that’s right here, right now.
Opportunities still abound, and now I have some wisdom to discern which path to step on. Stories, poems, books still live inside me, can still be written and gifted to the world.
Songs still to sing, dances still to dance, exotic cities to explore, life still to be lived.
Midlife, middle age…in our culture these words have a bit of a depressing ring to them. But that’s just a choice of interpretation. Wise, sexy crones are in nowadays. Who cares about 50 is the new 30? Or 60 is the new 40?
We midlife Goddesses can choose life and celebrate it no matter how many physical years have etched their experiences into our faces.
It’s okay to grieve for that maiden that has transformed through the mother years, and now approaches or embraces cronehood. We’re on a journey, a passage, and late summer light shimmers just as brightly – though with a different hue – than the luminescence of spring.
Come to think of it, I love the complex and colorful light of autumn through the trees even more than – the soft shades of spring.
So, dry those tears – kiss your maiden goodbye and wish her well. it’s time to look ahead. What’s your big plan for this part of your life?
With Radiant Love,
Image by Emma Hassard