We just don't know it at the time......"
Mitch Ablom, Five People You Meet in Heaven.
If you were to examine the connection between an ending and a beginning, you'd probably see spaces between the loose threads that bind them. Or maybe even a gap. Yes, maybe there's a kind of a transitional zone where the synapses don't touch. This is where I am sometimes, like everyone else on this planet. No matter who you are, there is a bit of flux happening in your life. Change is inevitable. We are not static beings. As soon as we learn something new, we are in the process of an ending and a beginning. This past week it has been a theme of sorts as I've spoken to many as they find their "new beginning" footing as they start taking new courses at the College.
The thing about endings and beginnings is that you don't just have ONE of them. Our lives are a complicated somewhat messy multi-faceted set of them. Linearity is not a human condition that is natural. We are jugglers of many endings and beginnings. Think about all of them that confront you on a daily basis. How easier it would be if we were only coping with ONE ending and ONE beginning. Crazy easy! But, not reality. Not only that, our lives consist of coping with them at different stages of openings and closings......
It reminds me of the passage in the Bible (and a well known 60's song), for everything, there is a season........
Seasons on the calendar may follow one another in an orderly manner. Seasons in our lives crossover, combine, and create a mishmash cornucopia unique to every individual. You may be in the spring of a relationship, or the autumn of one. You may be basking in the summer of your career, or standing on the precipice of retirement...... winter......... with snow covered seeds waiting to germinate a new lifestyle. We may have all four seasons happening all the same time with respect to different parts of our lives. And when I consider it that way, I can see how often I find myself in the zone of transition.... not for everything at the same time. I think I would fall apart if that was the case. But, living the circle of life juggling the stages and the seasons while the days unfold as they always will........
Opening and closing.........
ALL DOINGS with feelings........
Winter Endings blending into Spring beginnings are occuring all around us and in us. Sometimes with ease. Sometimes with unbalanced footing. Whether we want them to or not. We visit the zone between and ending and a beginning because we need to. This is where we process the loss. Every change, every time we let go of old stuff/knowledge/ways of doing or being/relationships/ we experience loss. This is what is so difficult about change. Not the change. The loss. There is a season for everything. And a purpose too....... Loss is a part of life. Loss is a part of living life. Loss is the hurting part of resolution.
I turned 50 on Saturday. I would be remiss if I didn't admit that it is a milestone I can't quite believe I've hit already. I don't think my parents can either! They don't look old enough to have a 50 year old daughter!! :) But, here I am! 50 for God's sakes. A third of the way through my life! :) It wasn't going to be a big deal, or didn't seem like it was going to be when I thought about it.
But, then life threw a major curveball and it became symbolically challenging. It quickly turned into a huge hill to climb up and over. You see, it was the first birthday in 25 years that I wouldn't be celebrating it with my husband. He has been by my side for half of all of my birthdays. And now, it's no more. This is what I couldn't process. This is the loss I was holding onto.
To everything, there is a season and a time and purpose under Heaven..... so often it remains a mystery. And that's alright. We don't need all the answers. We just want them!
Something magical happened last Saturday. I let go of the loss. I put my party dress on, complete with a new pair of sparkly silver sneakers I had been saving for just this occasion! There was a transference from an ending to a big yellow door opening onto a new beginning. I stipstepped in my silver shoes across the threshold, beyond the gap, over the transitional zone and landed with both feet on new ground. It could not have happened without the undying support of my friends and family. Turning 50 all of a sudden became turning 50-licious!
A birthday party took place in my home........the one I had envisioned! My house filled with joy and laughter, with song and music, with wine and food and with a cake especially created by my 12 year old friend Maeve! Everywhere I turned, I saw people of all ages interacting and having fun, including my parents who arrived to surprise me! All the way from Ontario via Maine!
Right at the appointed time, God seemed to push away the rainy clouds to let the sun take his twilight bow over the river horizon. AS the day turned into night, the stars lit up the sky with so many points of glimmerlights it was impossible to comprehend. And before you knew it, the campfire was blazing the in backyard and a circle of friends gathered for warmth, song and stories. Inside the house, the chatter and music continued to........ people flowed from to and fro. And life for me took a giant step forward, lighter from letting go of some of the loss.
I will treasure this milestone in my life. It was the biggest, brightest, most brilliant gift I could ever have received. The gift of love, friendship, and belonging to a group of people and to a place I call home. Thank you. Thank you.
Endings are really new beginnings? To everything there is a season......... this one truly has a purpose and a few reasons. I'll toast to that!