Friday, June 09, 2006

Double Nickels

Where are you going, my little one, little one,
Where are you going, my baby, my own?
Turn around and you're two,
Turn around and you're four,
Turn around and you're a young girl going out of my door…
Turn around and you're tiny,
Turn around and you're grown,
Turn around and you're a young wife with babes of your own.

Today is my birthday and when I woke up this morning this song was playing in my head. I never did the “young wife with babes of my own” thing but at different points in my life I have asked myself the question, “Where are you going?” I’ve never had an answer to that question because I never had a route mapped out for my life; instead I have followed the path wherever it led me.

For the most part, my life has been lived “the wrong way.” I didn’t finish high school-hell, I didn’t finish junior high school. I didn’t go to college until I was 34. I didn’t get married until I was 39 and, as I already said, I’ve never had children. Although my life has never been what is called normal and at times had been very chaotic I can truthfully say that with every passing year it gets better and better.

Still, there are days when I look in the mirror and wish the lines that are forming on my face would just disappear. Days when I wish I could go back to the time when I could eat whatever I wanted and not worry about gaining weight. Days when I wish my body would stay in shape without too much help from me like it used to do.

It is said that that every seven years our bodies have completely replaced old cells with new ones, which means every seven years we, physically, are a totally new person. The first in this cycle of change is the change from infant to child. The next cycle is from child to adolescent. The one after that from adolescent to adult. For a period after that the physical changes become more subtle and we really don’t notice them. Then around the age of 40 we (especially we women) become more aware of the changes in our bodies. Oh my, in our youth obsessed culture we definitely become more aware of the changes in our bodies.

Some people believe that every seven years in addition to the physical changes in our bodies, “[t]here is a natural release of energy …which encourages you to move forward and make changes.” And that this change “is a soul's demand to be seen as an individual, not as a collective.”

Since the age of 42 I think I have been more focused on my soul’s demand to be seen as an individual than with the physical changes in myself. Going to Spain and walking the Camino was a major energy release and my walk changed me in ways that I am still grappling with today. Today I turn 55, double nickels, the last year in one seven-year cycle and the lead up to another. I have been feeling that there is another big change coming in my life and and I am afraid that I may not be able to handle it. Then this morning my husband gave me this birthday card:

Inside it reads:

Yes!'s often just beyond your No's.

I'm pretty sure the little girl just ignores the sign. For the next stage of my life I will do the same thing.

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