Phases


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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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It’s Not Just About Me


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When one plans a move, especially a long one far away, the family pets must be considered. Being part of the family as they are, we all must decide how they will fare leaving their known environment, living in a new one, make the actual trip and separating from each other (if that needs to happen). It can be a brutal decision.

I have two dogs and two cats and my daughter has one dog. My daughter is not coming with me and is getting her own apartment. Happily she is completely thrilled about the decision, but I’m not so sure how her little pup will feel.

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The little puppy is still less than a year and has become very attached to my younger dog. As we all know, dogs are pack animals. Separating them can be something that can take a big toll on them, even though they are very attached to us.

The other decision I’ve been facing is moving my very old beagle. He’s been suffering from canine cognitive dysfunction–the fancy name for doggie dementia. Anyone following my blog may remember me mentioning him jumping out of windows this summer and me trying to decide about euthanasia then. He’s since been having a myriad of other issues.

I’ve discussed this move with my vet, who happens to be a dear friend also, and she doesn’t feel he would make it. Last night I even wrote to a dog retirement place that places senior dogs. The woman sent me a wonderful letter saying it would be a ‘gift’ to put him down at this point and he really wouldn’t be a candidate for placement. But this doesn’t make the decision any easier.

It has always bothered me that people euthanize animals for their convenience, and somehow there’s this niggling thing in my brain that I’m afraid I’m doing this now. Even though my rational self knows all his issues. If a dog is in pain, the decision is obvious. But for anxiety and mental issues, not so much. And how much will his loss be felt by my younger dog?

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Then there’s my kitties. Any cat people know they don’t take well to new places. Mine are both indoor cats. And driving them across country isn’t my idea of a family vacation! You can tell the one in the picture doesn’t look thrilled! My cats are older, so I hope it doesn’t stress them too much.

And then I just worry about the climate change. It’s hot and buggy where I’m going. All the time. I know people surely have pets there and they are fine. But mine will need to adjust.

So many changes for my pets. The move, the loss of pets for them all. Will they be OK? I’ve put off these kinds of changes in my life for so long partly because of them! They are my family, but I can’t tell them and explain to them that I will have more time to spend with them when I move, or that I’ll be happier. And I certainly can’t explain to my beagle my reasoning. I’m not even sure I understand it myself.

With good changes do come difficult choices. I suppose that’s partly why I can’t sleep at night. Is that why they say anything worth doing sometimes is hard? Hopefully I’m making the right decisions for them all. Because I truly believe: it’s not just about me.

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