Lupus Alae

Spiritflights, fledgling and ancient


Upheaval and peace

As I sit here, the shadows are lengthening and evening is fast bidding late afternoon adieu. It is the time of deepening darkness and of quiet reflection, sometimes wistfully so.

Last Monday, the 23rd, I received a phone call from my father. Before the phone rang, my hand was reaching toward it, and I knew who would be calling and why -- one of those moments of knowing without understanding how you know. And one of those moments when you wish you knew nothing because there was nothing to know.

All of that to say that that day, my great-uncle began his journey to the Summerlands. Brightest journey, I felt the words come, and with them, a wave of relief that his suffering is now past and he is surrounded by peace and light and beauty.

Words fail to capture the brokenhearted tears that just kept flowing, and the wrenching sobs of grief that left me voiceless and feeling quite ill for a few days...and yet, that sorrow is all selfish. I miss him fiercely; he was an extraordinary person -- and *is* such an effervescent, bright, storied soul. I look forward to when our spirits might cross paths again.

There's so much right now that's hard to grasp -- that I can't ever call him now to hear that "New Joisey" accent that always made me smile. No more letters smelling faintly of his favorite pipe tobacco, and filled with love and warmth and laughter, the serious and silly and mundane all wrapped together in the best kind of present: time.

I've no one to write to now, none left in my life who value the handwritten letter as I do. The other, my paternal grandmother, passed on in 2008. Her scratchy, spidery script and his blocky, thick print...they wove my life with reassuring patterns of family and familiarity, comfort and understanding.

I suppose being pen pal-less is okay right now, as my address may be changing in the next six weeks or so. If my spouse gets the out-of-state job he's interviewing on site for on Thursday, I will be packing up and painting walls and generally in chaos for the next several weeks!

It occurs to me that upheaval is as much a constant in our lives, at least in certain chapters, as stability ever is. And in reflecting on this, I come across a quote in my mind from Gandhi:

"Each one has to find his peace within. And peace, to be real, must be unaffected by outside circumstances."

This, then, is my goal on the journey right now. To flow with the changes, to use the chaos to deepen the serenity at the core of my IS a journey, an ever-changing one, and I am learning to be grateful for opportunities for growth.


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