Sunday, July 10, 2011

"Old age is like flying through a storm;

once you're on board, there's nothing you can do but hang on".
Golda Maier

I know summer is, iconically, the time for weddings, swimming pools, going barefoot, "trips' of all kinds (float, Mission and road), carefree, lazy days and celebrations of every description.

In academic medicine, it's also the time for endings and stressful beginnings.
Residents and Attendings leaving and new students starting...
this year, I'm acutely aware of the leavings - and the sadness that goes with them.

As wonderful as the Mission trip was, concerns for friends on the reservation who are struggling, changes in leadership for the Habitat chapter, the serious illnesses of friends and their altered circumstances have all got me thinking about how precious - and precarious - our time on this earth is.

That's one of the blessings - and curses - of getting older - you have both the time and the life experience to contemplate the bigger issues while noticing the smaller details.

It's an interesting inner space in which to be.

Things change.
Some of them disappear from our lives.
Sometimes we see it coming and sometimes we don't.
Sometimes we cause the change ourselves and sometimes it is visited upon us.

Some change is temporary and some is permanent, two concepts that are meaningful only here, in our world of ticking clocks and the rapidly-turning pages of calendars.

All the changes we see, those we welcome and those we resist with everything in us, are earthly.
They bruise only us, and they only bruise us here.

In a life where everything that has ever been still is, where all that will be already is, nothing is lost.
This is the timelessness of God.

Spend enough time thinking about it, and you begin not to be as frightened by the thought of entering it as you once were.

Spend even more time, and your entry will be imperceptible -- to you at least -- because almost all of you will already be there.

Barbara Crafton

For those friends who are of 'a certain age'...the sister nailed it, right?
To all you 'youngsters'... you'll see.


aimee said...

I never gave much consideration or thought to this until I hit my thirties...I am starting to see it now. Thanks for sharing.

Donna said...

Just wait 'til your 60's!
can only imagine how much richer the thoughts will get in 10 -20 years!

giveitawhirl3 said...

Starting to see! I hope with age, I will see to be a little less frightened of change also!