One of my very favourite children's stories is the story of the Velveteen Rabbit. It is the classic tale of a much-loved toy bunny who becomes real. It is one of those stories that parent's love to read to their children (and nana to her grandchildren). It's no surprise since it is a story of transformation. I've been thinking about my own journey of transformation and the transition from what was to what is.
It's my birthday today. I'm officially in the final year of this decade in my lfe. I've always found the years in my life that end in '9' are the ones that launch me into reflecting on ageing. By the time the actual new decade arrives I am ready.
I think the most surprising thing about ageing is that you become happier and more content with who you are in your life each year. You don't want your youth back. It might be nice to have that 25 year old body and physical energy but if it means being that person again...no thanks. I have deep gratitude towards the younger version of myself for all her work in getting me here. Becoming real isn't for the faint of heart!
There were two poems I was reading this week. I think they beautifully express how I feel about ageing and why I think it is such a gift to be a woman who is ready to take her place at the fire.
The first one will be familiar to many of you. It is May Sarton's "Now I Become Myself":
Now I become myself. It's taken
Time, many years and places.
I have been dissolved and shaken,
Worn other people's faces,
Run madly, as if Time were there,
Terribly old, crying a warning,
"Hurry, you will be dead before --- "
(What? Before you reach the morning?
Or the end of the poem is clear?
Or love safe in the walled city?)
The second one Sharon Blackie writes about in "If Women Rose Rooted":
No star is ever lost
We once have seen
We always may be
What we might have been.
So, happy birthday to me! I'm grateful for another year to do the work I've been called to do on this earth.