Saturday, April 19, 2014

Carpe Diem

Well, hello my darlings :) I have missed you all.. not that YOU have gone anywhere of course.. I have spent the last month of summer having.. I don't know, a bit of a mid-life crisis? ('That means you will die when you are 86,' declares Posy, who has a literal mind. She is now writing a list of the things she would like to inherit when I die. I am now going to move myself and my laptop to somewhere Posy can't read over my shoulder. To think we actually WANT our children to learn to read...)

A very gentle mid-life crisis I might add. I did not buy a fast red car or have cosmetic surgery. I spent hours every fine day sitting in my garden chair under the pear tree, drinking tea and gazing at clouds. Sometimes I read a nice book. I didn't go anywhere, do anything, look at the internet. This wasn't a planned sabbatical, but like most things in my life, just happened. I relived the past, took out some regrets, bad choices, moments not well lived, failures of kindness. I grieved over them, folded them carefully in lavender and put them back on the shelf. They are, after all, important markers in a life well-lived. Cautionary tales as it were. I have contemplated the future. Thought about risks I might take. Been quite afraid. After all, as Posy noted, my life is more than likely half gone. When is it, exactly, that those first whispers of the cold truth of mortality really begin to echo with such insistent certainty among the chattering byways of our minds?

For me, only recently. That certain knowledge that we are indeed all travelling towards death does creep up slowly. The young truly are immortal. I have taken some time to grieve a little for my heedless youth. I don't want to be young again, it is a bittersweet condition, after all. But in order to go on without regret you do have to let go of what went before, and letting go always comes with a little, or a lot, of grief, some sadness, and also fear of what lies ahead. So, it has been a season of contemplation, this moving into autumn, a change of weather, a change of direction, some sadness, but also, a tiny stirring of excitement. Because, with the certainty of death comes a certain measure of recklessness. After all, if we are going to die, then what do we have to lose? The risks are all the more worth taking. Is this then, the secret of the power and energy that fuels the second half of our lives?