When I was approaching forty years old I started to write online. The words, stoppered up for too long I can only surmise, came rushing out heedless of thought or care for others. That's how it had to be for a very long time. Writing enabled me to get through and over some longstanding griefs and grievances.
That was yesterday. Or feels as if, but really it was a decade-long process. Unaccountably I find myself turning fifty years old in some ten months. And at this stage I am quiet. Life is quiet. The words do not come with any urgency. I wonder, "Who am I to have thought I had anything to say, to you or anyone else?" This is no false modesty. It is more a sense that we all have words pressing for release. Mine are no more worthy of consideration than yours. At almost fifty I understand that we are all in this together, that we rise and fall on the backs of others.
Quiet I may be, but not settled, not yet. In the last year I have had to do some caretaking of my body, not my mind. Fifty warrants attention to the physical self so that it's sustainable for the long haul, or maybe so that the long haul doesn't feel long, nor like a haul.
My children are not any longer children. They are delightful companions, these young adults, and they keep surprising me in the best ways. But yes, fifty means answering the question of who one is when no longer quite so actively parenting. There seems so much time! Parents of young children covet the idea of all that time, but forget that an abundance of time is not always desirable. Too much time can mean minutes or hours spent worrying about things that seem downright inconsequential without the time to frame them up all pretty with a bow.
Well, here we are. Here I am. Breathing, living, quiet but content. White-haired, older but much, much wiser. The wisdom amply compensates for the loss of youth.
I wish for you all time and space to breathe, live, and be quiet but content. And I send much love your way as 2017 slips into being, heralded or not.