Sometimes as night begins to fall, the activities of the day completed, the house suddenly quiet, I find myself looking back over the years -- not in a bad or negative way at all, but just with a certain curiosity. I wonder if anyone would have told me fifty years ago when I was twenty-five and working in Dallas, Texas that when I would be getting ready to celebrate my seventy-fifth birthday I would be the mother of four grown children, that I would be living in Seattle, Washington with one of them -- what would I have said? I suddenly found myself laughing out loud and thinking that was exactly what I would have done then -- laughed. "Me, get married? Have kids? You've got to be kidding, right? I mean, Seattle wouldn't be bad, but no thanks, to the rest of it." And yet here I am, seventy-five in a little over a week and I am the mother of four and I am living with one of them in Seattle, Washington and it's working well for both of us. And the others have done well, too. We're scattered all over the country, but thanks to the internet and cell phones etc. etc. we stay in close touch.
I frequently wonder if other people look back over their lives and wonder how they ended up where they are now -- not in a bad way, but just curious. What were the dreams, hopes, plans? How many lives turned out just as they had planned them in their late teens or early twenties? How many find themselves in amazingly different settings than they would have thought possible fifty years ago?
Maybe it's how we begin our journey into our future that determines how far that journey takes us from where we started. Maybe we've become a very different person from the twenty something woman or man that we were. Do we even really remember who we were then? Are there many, who like me, played another role for so many years that we're not sure which one is the real one? I believe that I do know who the real me is now and she isn't that twenty-five year old from Dallas, Texas. For one thing, I've made peace with who I am, who I was and who I hope to be on the other side of seventy-five and that's a very, very good feeling. Still, sometimes I wonder how many lifetimes it took me to finally reach this place?
Well, whatever, it's been a great journey and I'm happy to be where I am. I have so much to be thankful for and happy about. I still have an enormous amount of curiosity about so many things, I still get excited about things that happen every day and I can laugh and have my breath taken away at the sight of a full moon, a bouquet of flowers, a piece of music, a beautiful piece of art, the mountains that surround us here and the water! And I have my health. Oh, I know, I get stirred up over politics, I worry about the country, about the enviornment and grit my teeth over the Republicans, but at the end of the day when I get very still, I know what's real and what matters.
Yes, it's been a marvelous journey in spite of some bumpy roads and it's not over yet. Who knows how many more lovely surprises are waiting along the way?
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