Last year about this time, I shared the story of saying goodbye to life-long summer neighbors. (Read the essay here.) For years our families converged on Memorial Day weekend to celebrate the return of summer. Yet after years of history, it was time to let go. No amount of tradition could prevent family circumstances and situations from changing. Despite their best efforts to keep the cottage in the family, it was time to move on, and soon their for sale sign read “Sold.”
This year, uncertainty surrounded us as my family and I arrived for the Memorial Day weekend. Different cars filled the parking area of our old friends’ home. New faces came and went through the door I’d used so many times. Gone were the familiar greetings and catch-up conversations.
There was a hint of melancholy, but it faded as we met the new owners and admired the property’s many improvements. Their excitement to enjoy the weekend with friends and family was obvious. It felt different, yes, but not in the sad way I had expected.
So now a new family–with two darling kids–calls this their summer getaway. Hearing giggly little-girl voices drifting over the grass parkway eliminated my remaining sadness. Later, when the giggles became tired cries, I smiled.
Some things don’t change after all.
An overtired toddler sounds the same at the end of any busy day. Hearing a little voice cry, “Da-a-a-a-dy!” in that exhausted, sing-song way of children at bedtime reminded me of the universality of life. A different family may inhabit those walls, but the sounds remain the same. To me, it merged things old and new. Years past to the future ahead. Highs and lows. Rooting and uprooting. Traditions and changes.
It reminded me of a poem a friend recently gave me. It’s entitled “Wholeness” and is written by Edwina Gately.
Gather everything together like the enveloping dusk.
delight in it,
dreams and images,
Recall – Relive – Befriend.
Let the past surge forward into the gentle, welcoming present,
and take each far-wandering memory
into your bosom to kiss,
and claim your own,
reclaim your wholeness
and all the fragmented beauty
of who you are.
I’m working toward befriending all of my “fragmented” beauty. I’m learning to embrace the pieces and parts of me, from the “far-wandering memories” to the “gentle, welcoming present.” I believe that is what makes me whole.
How about you? Is their something you need to befriend? What would help you “reclaim your wholeness” today?
Greetings dear Heartwired readers!
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