I’ve been pondering on the probability that many folk in their later years tend to hold back, withdraw, or perhaps lose the will, if one would like to call it that, to continue life with a physical purpose, with joy or with any thought of continuing to explore the possibility of having a plan to fulfil the ‘what’s next’ on the To Do List.
It seems to me that some may think there is a requirement to keep going, no matter the cost to what the body is truly feeling.
I am aware that there can be precious moments at the end of one’s life to experience joy, true purpose and share love. There are moments when it seems timely to cull a few more possessions that may have been kept, allowing and appreciating further clearing to take place as the physical body changes.
These moments and activities remind me of the proverbial daffodil in the field that rises from a bulb in the earth, and continues to bloom for the spring, gives up its visible beauty and becomes dormant in the winter, then prepares for another spring as the seasons and cycles call.
I am aware that there is oftentimes a belief out in the wider community that older folk start to needlessly slow down and withdraw without desire to explore life further, know more or achieve just one last goal. I mused upon these beliefs as I walked through a local small park.
I noticed one of the millions of blue-winged butterflies that are filling our skies presently, sitting on the grass at my feet, wings only half opened. Its beauty struck me; the delicateness, but also the power and true strength, and the design divinely orchestrated, but there was no dew left on the grass at this stage of the morning and its family of many were flying by overhead. I bent slowly so as not to frighten it, placing my finger gently in front of its long and angular legs to encourage it to sit on my finger. I wanted to be able to know it more intimately – however, as I placed my finger on the grass in front of it, it 'withdrew' – took a half step/movement back, and I felt it say "let me be – my life is spent".
So it was not 'holding back' or 'withdrawing from change or exploring life' – it was honouring its life in stillness, which I inadvertently felt was my right to interfere with, expecting something more or else, and not reading in the moment that it had already lived its life to its last breath, doing what butterflies do.
At a couple of weeks away from entering my 80th year, 79 cycles around the sun, I must admit I am starting to feel a little like that butterfly, clearing, culling and experiencing in so many ways a preparation for further adaptability, acceptance and change in the body, not necessarily withdrawing per se, but at times feeling the glory of stillness, settlement and harmony, interspersed with everything else that can be thrown at one.
As my body changes in preparation for the coming cycle, it is releasing much – some I experience presently as a level of pain, and I ponder on the tempering of the wilful human spirit. There is the deepening opportunity for me to not only to be embracing ‘acceptance’ at so many levels of our understanding of that word, but also exploring the wonders of ‘adaptability’ and ‘change’.
Like that blue winged butterfly that seemingly appeared to be experiencing and expressing the acceptance of its own continuing cycle, I am finding amidst adaptations to change the beauty of deepening the reconnection with the essence of the body and allowing its wisdom to be the messenger.
These recent times of experiencing the joy of ageing have re-ignited within me an expanding sense of acceptance of the beauty of each of us, innately knowing we are connected in some fashion as holding the stardust of the heavens within. I feel through the very particles that make us, we are but students of earth school having brought the possibility of a balancing the scales in preparation of returning yet again.
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