A friend of mine is limping into his 60s with a sense of loss. Loss of youth, energy and significance. I understand all of that and believe that most of us go through a passage where we grieve the younger life we’ve left behind.
The television screen shows a young couple, strolling down a city street, holding hands. When they arrive at the steps of the woman’s brownstone, the man hesitates as if he wants to move in for a kiss.
As the end of the year approaches, I begin to putter around in closets and cabinets, donating those things that I am not using. I enjoy simplicity and orderliness. But it’s not just the cabinets and drawers that deserve attention, it’s the stressful things in our psyche that we should be willing to give up.
I know J.K. Rowling’s story by heart – the young, impoverished single mother who stayed true to her writing dream in the face of a failed marriage and what she saw as a failed career choice. The urgency of her situation turned her desire to write novels into a fierce fidelity, which birthed Harry Potter.
“But now the days are short, I’m in the autumn of my years. And I think of my life as vintage wine from fine old kegs. From the brim to the dregs, it poured sweet and clear. It was a very good year.” – Ervin Drake, It Was A Very Good Year
There is something grounding, something earthly ceremonial about the change of seasons. The natural world is filled with answers to our longing. Nature is the great healer and finding time to spend in its sensual beauty nurtures the tired soul.