Each passing year of my life brings a clearer realization that I am passing from one season to another. No, not the spring into summer into autumn into winter season, although one could make a good comparison of seasons in life and seasons in nature. This blog is about a certain season of life. A very melancholy and contemplative season of which I think I will name a ‘where do I belong’ season.
As my husband and I sat at the dinner table last evening, we discussed our lives and where we are at right now, not as a couple for that is solid as a rock, but how we are, or are not, intertwined with family, friends and loved ones. One has always heard about the ‘empty nest’ syndrome. Children now grown, families of their own, others, like our siblings, going through the same thing. Our nest has been empty for several years now yet empty is an inaccurate term. The love between my husband and I transcends any emptiness that might have occurred with little ones flying the coop. It was not something we mentally had to prepare for or something we excitedly anticipated. It just happened and the course of nature took the role that it should have. If it were not for me being blessed with the most wonderful husband, who is not only that but my best friend, lover, confidant and gift, I would certainly be cringing at this time of my life.
This season of ‘not belonging’ is one that many, I’m sure, have experienced. It’s an in between state of having once been useful in one area to now trying to determine where I fit in this world for the remainder of my years. They could be many, they could be few. Either way, waking each day is a blessing in and of itself and one that shouldn’t be wasted or taken for granted. Therefore, I need to search my heart for that which I’m now called to do. I no longer fit the role of mother to young ones as I once did although I’m occasionally given a morsel of usefulness when advice is needed. I believe I’ve taught my children well for I see myself in them as they act out there all-important role of mother as I once did. I do fit the role of grandmother (Nana) yet that somehow seems to be more of a title and not an actual role. Sort of like the Queen of England. No disrespect to the UK is meant by that. Many grandparents are remembered fondly by their grandchildren yet that is all, a memory. Someone who is always there yet, for what? The grandchildren are well taken care of by their parents now. And so it should be.
Siblings are the same, I’m sad to say. Not all, just mine and my husbands’. Like us, they have their own lives, their own grown children, their own grandchildren and great-grandchildren, their own bubble that they walk in from one day to another. Very little effort or time is spent on the importance of growing closer yet instead, a chasm has appeared. I wonder how many people feel the same way. Is it just my family or my husband’s family? Is it truly just life taking its course?
Like children and siblings, so go friends. That is if you’re fortunate to have real live ones. In this day of technology, it’s not unheard of to have more ‘virtual’ friends then actual face-to-face friends. While I relish each and every friendship that has come in a season and time in my life via the internet, I have few that share a walk with me along this contemplative existence of my life, save for my husband. Perhaps that’s just the way it should be for me. I have my husband so I feel no great loss at not having ‘girl’s night out’ or any such things. There are times I do long for the comfort of time spent with my daughters, or perhaps dinner and a glass or two of wine with a friend sharing life’s journey, a laugh or two with my sister or a brother while sharing fond childhood memories. But, often those times do not occur because it would mean invasion into their bubble. How does one fight that? No, one must often wait until they choose to make it so. Sad, but this is too true for me.
Okay, enough contemplation and enough melancholy writing. I do not wish to give the wrong impression. I am happy. I am blessed beyond what I deserve. Life is good and all is well. As I look out my window and can actually see winter’s end and spring blossoming up from the ground, I do realize it’s a season changing. Not just outside my window, but inside my heart. It is life and one must simply take each day, each season and each journey, grabbing all the joy and challenges set before them. Each season surely brings a place for each of us. It’s just a matter of finding it.