Sunday, March 16, 2014
Spring Cleaning: Who I Used to Be
Going through closets and cupboards, I’m finding things I haven’t touched for years.
• Cookie cutters for baking with the kids, all of whom are in their twenties now
• A professional black and white blazer
• Pumpkin carvers for Halloween
• Red satin heels that went with dresses I no longer own
• A lace jacket that scratched my skin
• Medicines for past ailments
• A black cashmere sweater that gave my neck a rash
• Strong’s Concordance for studying the Bible
These things reflect the person I used to be: the mom who doted on her kids, the eager-to-please wife, the on-and-off again administrative assistant, the conservative Christian.
She was willing to wear uncomfortable things for the sake of looking nice. She was conscious of cost, and didn’t throw out anything that had been pricey. She invested greatly in her children and family and their times together.
But life asks us to recognize the present. To acknowledge our changing.
Really, I’m not very good at spring cleaning. But I am getting the message about what to notice.
This person whose things I’m giving away - I’m not that person anymore. There’s a part of me who doesn’t want to let her go. Yet I’m willing.
I’m at a crossroads, with a new empty nest, a changing focus, an evolving creativity and relationship with God.
I remember another crossroads fifteen years ago. A friend shared a Zen Kōan, the story of a man who crosses a river, then picks up the boat and carries it with him wherever he goes.
Once you have taken the boat across the river, you don’t need it anymore.
There are many rivers I’ve crossed, and I honor them, and I’m grateful for all the vessels that have brought me along.
And now as I take the next step on land, I’m a little lighter, a little more free.