Phases are found in every aspect of nature and life on this planet. Look to the moon and watch it wax and wane in its monthly cycle around the earth. And the lovely butterfly: from larva to amazing gold studded chrysalis and then birthed into flight as a full winged angel. There is the brilliance of Summer painted with color, bursting with food; and the glorious riot of Autumn with trees hung in their last hoorah before the solemn rest of the snow covered quilt of Winter lays the world to rest; and on to Spring where babies and sprouts tenderly crawl and peep to start it all over again.
These cycles, phases are so numerous, so abundant and obvious that often we simply take them for granted. They beat within us like the ancestral clock that started from when we crawled out of thick slime and our eyes first opened to the great firey ball in the sky. And this clock has not stopped ticking since.
But there are also the human phases we face. These too may be obvious like the ones where we pass from childhood to adulthood. We celebrate the turning of our phases by weddings, funerals, Bar-Mitzvahs, Baptisms as to honor the next phase into which we are passing.
Some phases are not chosen by us: a divorce therefore making us now a single person, moving out of the once blissful cycle of marriage. Or maybe we were once clean but life, circumstance and inner struggles have moved us into the cycle of addiction. These kind of phases can be painful to pass through, seemingly bottomless pits of despair and pain.
When we are young these cycles seem to whir by like scenery in passing car, our noses pressing up against the cool window–life flashing by blurred and blending together. But as we grow older we begin to grasp onto phases, realizing that maybe with regards to our own lives, there may be some choice.
Some are surely beyond our fingertips: one can’t stop the wrinkles (no matter how much cream you apply) or the creaking bones. It’s more the direction one’s life is headed and the quality of one’s soul work that may be within our ability to manipulate.
As we grow older and begin to value the need for quiet and being alone (at least at times), one can begin to hear the song inside one’s own being. All the accumulated time we have spent speeding through our phases and watching the cycles of our world have woven together a story in our hearts. This story, when we sit with it, begins to form a pattern and as it takes shape can clearly lead us down the next phase of our life.
It is at this point that we do not have to sit back and be unwilling participants in our lives where the world happens around us, or let people do things to us. But rather we begin to steer the boat and head toward the shore where we want to land. This is the beauty of growing older.
So within this phase, I continue to honor the Earth as She tries desperately to follow the phases that She has for millions of years. It is in joy that I watch the birds, plants and animals in their cycles upon this world and the planets, stars and clouds cross the vast sky. And it is with great humility that I now try to move forward toward the next phase of my life.