The tides of life affect us all, every single one. They have, they will, they did. In ways we least expect it and thus, explaining the very definition of life. None of us will escape the surface devastation of these life tides, not one. We will all be affected by death, illness, hurt feelings, divorce, environmental disaster, and children or perhaps the lack of children and many of us will carry the painful baggage left behind, strewn on our hearts. The wonderful was of life includes the collection of these hurts and the realization did not strike me until recently. Perhaps my age is a factor, perhaps personal reflection of my own history, or perhaps my son who did not land perfectly into this world propelled my acceptance of this thing called life.
To say that is has been enlightening does not even skim the surface of the emotions I have felt, allowed myself to ponder, and consider that perhaps life is exactly this. Not a well rehearsed plan of best intentions with a few potholes, but climbing out of those crevices which seem to call us again and again. Do we climb out in hope or do we embrace the hurt as a part of our own persona? How we react is what dictates our own life philosophy and our choice to cope, harbor anger and bitterness.
Death will come to the ones we love and ourselves and yet, we hurt, wail, and buck against this universal phenomena that is our destiny. Some of us escape longer than others though and the sting of death alludes us in a way that does not propel violent retching. Do we all take our hurts personally and build a wall so as to be better protected the next time? Perhaps it's just me. If not death then something else and the first domino may be tiny, a small blip of hurt on the world's radar. For me, it was a dog that wandered away from a Christmas tree farm and never was found. My first taste of hurt left me feeling alone and a bit guarded, I have never given my whole heart to a dog again. My first challenge of life and yet it was me that has lost.
The illness of my brother was my first real earthquake and culminated in his unfathomable death. Still, I did not know that life meant sorrow and so, I built another wall and tried to explain away my youthful thoughts of loss and moved forward. Again and again in my own history, the deaths of friends happened around me, like the sets of waves that never fail to come out of the calm sea. And still, my human reaction was to build walls and immaterial protection for my own self and survival. It was a war I waged and yet, my ability to win was never written into the stars. I still felt singled out, an object targeted for hurt and it felt personal, all the hurts, aches, wrongs stung me in a way that they were the antithesis of life.
I was wrong you know.
Life is a collection of the hurts and joys in a world that is beyond big in the wildest of our imaginations. Our thoughts collectively are more similar than we care to acknowledge and our staying power lessens as time continues. My concession of life and embracing its' entirety has been trickling into my mind the last few months. As I have read and listened to the words of others, the ones outside of my immediate community, I have realized their experiences mirror my own and thus, life.
Life as we know it is a game in which we have never been given a copy of the rules and so, we play to the best of our ability or do we? Do we struggle with its' impurities or do we step forward and embrace our lot in life? Forty one years in and I'm aware of my tiny role in this universe. Amos' own life was the tipping point for my own comprehension of the big picture. Raising four children, particularly one who can not find his words, has made my own vulnerability so bright that I can no longer hide from its' blinding glare.
Instead, I am trying to bask in the light. The light that shines amidst the dark clouds and offers warmth, joy, laughter, and peace. All part of this game called life that you can play to lose or join and ride the waves that are sure to come despite your fighting. My greatest gift has been finding out that riding the waves is the way to beautiful survival and I am no longer on my way to drowning.