Saturday, July 17, 2010

"Empty Nest"

I'm having a trial run this week, getting ready for fall's big changes. Both daughters are away, the younger one visiting her sister in the Big Apple. So I find myself thinking about September, when the nest will be emptying for real. And I'm not sure I am going to like it.

For quite some time now folks have been asking me if I was 'ready' for this life change. What I am realizing today is that there is really no way to prepare for it. Certainly I can make some plans (like asking a friend to go with me to move her into the dorm room so that I don't have to make the trek home all alone!). I can imagine what it will be like to walk by an empty bedroom and wait for the school vacations.

But, until that freshman year begins, the empty nest will only be an abstraction, something anticipated with excitement or with dread. Perhaps the thing to do is breathe. Today, in this moment, to focus on what is present, rather than those who are absent. Present with me right now are the options I have for this day. Present with me is the freedom to schedule my time. Present is my health, my strength, my wonder.

And while this nest may feel a little roomier right now, it is not because it is "empty"... because I am still here. I will be here when school starts. I'll be here when it ends. And perhaps it is time (high time) to pay attention to me. If I can manage to do that (even for today), it might not matter what happens in this nest after all.

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