Moving towards the solstice

We are moving towards the solstice.  In only a few days the world begins its slow revolution back towards the light.  And yet, even with that knowledge, this feels like a complicated, dark time.  There are so many feelings tangled inside of me.  In the last two days two of my very best friends lost a grandparent (and one of those was my almost-grandmother who went along with my other-mother, who has also passed away).  Our Christmas plans have substantially changed to accomodate the illness of a family member, which is unnerving and scary.  Grace continues to be challenged by things that I know I’ve personally handed down to her.

Days of feet slipping on ice, of progress made haltingly, if at all.  And there is so much here I still do not understand.

If I could make sense of how my life is tangled with dead weeds, thistles, enormous burdocks, burdens … Life today contains already its share of ghosts, woven through my experience, and I know there will only be more.  The folding of the generations is happening before my eyes, and my peers and I stand up to take our place as the robust center of families, step into the middle place.  Many of us have learned to say yes, and learned to say no, and learned to say hello.  Now we learn to say goodbye.  Of course these lessons happen out of order for some, painfully, but for me they are unspooling conventionally.

I am trying to hold in one steady glance all the parts of my life. And I never knew this would be so hard.  This is a lesson of midlife, this holding of paradox, this acknowledgement that containing multitudes makes me, instead of inconsistent, a mature adult.  The gaze that contains all of these divergent and, occasionally, more problematically, contradictory truths hardly feels steady, though.  It feels thready, weak, throbbing with an erratic pulse.

To ease the hold of the past upon my life. Along with letting go of my sometimes-frenetic focus on the future, this is another of my central tasks now.  To embrace memory, to own the girl I was, to know that all of those versions of me exist inside me still, but to trust that a lighter grip is enough.

We continue spinning.  Spinning and spinning, returning again to the same motifs and metaphors as we strive to understand our experience, to the same people and places as we mine our memories, to the same truths about who we are.  Just as the earth spins on its axis so too do our lives spin, linear progress becoming less relevant as we understand more and more the fluid and cyclical nature of what really matters.  The seasons beat forward and so do we, trusting that the light will come back, that the work of our lives is no more and no less than this: surrendering to the rotation.

8 thoughts on “Moving towards the solstice”

  1. Oh friend. Big hugs. The biggest.

    The lessons that continue to rise in our days…repeating so we will learn. Learn, deal, acclimate, repeat.

    And trusting that a lighter grip is enough. Oh how I love this thought. One for me to savor.

  2. And as hard as it is sometimes to know, this is how life is meant to be lived. New seasons, forever change, adapting, learning to fully embrace our humanity, all of it. As time marches on, that is the very gift waiting for us if we are willing to receive it, the depth of life and all it’s splendid, if tumultuous emotions.

  3. Right here, right now, you are here. Not there yet, and not back then… here, with your beautiful heart open, showing your daughter and the rest of us that change, while slow and not easy, is possible. And maybe, just maybe, a good thing.

    Thank you, as always…


  4. You have no idea how true this rings for me. The complications of middle life. There is a wisdom that comes for sure but only because in living, we have learned how fragile each of us is. That is a truth that comes at a price of innocence – innocence only belongs to the very young.

    Be strong – the light is coming!


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