It is a turning point in time. As a woman I know exactly what this means yet it is so unfamiliar to me. Everything changes, yet I am still exactly the same, well yes there are moderate changes. Moderate! Was that an exclamation mark I added, hoping it was not noticed? Yes moderate is a word I use lightly but maybe rather hopefully. I acknowledge my own moderate changes, it’s not such a big deal. Is it? So what – I only JUST turned 50 or was that nearly two years ago, so it was only close to nearly.
Every one tells me it is absolutely ok and I look as wonderful as ever, even more so sometimes. I tell them laughing ‘Oh its an aging thing, I always looked forward to being 50’ Well that was last year, I forgot to even think about 51 and 52 and 53. I never quite got to the point of decent, return, dryness, ruffled skin and achy bones. I’m dancing I am still dancing, wildly passionately, I know it will never stop within me and around me. The dance goes on, I never cared what I looked like, I never performed as such.
“She’ll be dancing in her grave, that one!” I hear them say. Maybe so, I certainly hope so and I begin to welcome the changes that nature has decided I must make, just to see if I can prove them right! There were moments of course when I believed I would always be the same, that I could not age because like so much of the timelessness in my work, it would fail to show itself. Then I woke one morning and spotted a different skin, just below the hem line, as I moved my hand across it, I noticed how unfamiliar it was. Why had I not noticed it before, did it appear over night? I didn’t really want to tell any one incase they thought I was becoming ugly and I would not feel loved as before. So I watched over those months by myself, feeling actually quite lonely about what I was witnessing. I wondered what it would be like to really share that with another. So many
groups where we explore the changes in our lives. But could I ever show some one the change in my skin, my tone and the way my body was held together. Could I ask another to explore it with me and ask for their opinions or even ask them when they very first noticed it in themselves and what it felt like? Could we laugh and compare notes from week to week, sharing the drinking of tea and how disgraceful we could be once we were ‘really’ old!
So much of nature changes around me, from day-to-day, from little saplings to mighty oaks and trees of the forest. Leaves beginning with tiny nobles on branches and twigs to expanding themselves fully, meeting with the day light and all together they share in the community of the hedgerow. And then one by one they wrinkle and fall, blown by the wind and landing alone to finish their journey under a sweeping broom or blown some distance yonder into a corner of the garden to rot and disappear while new shoots take their place.
So I want to laugh at life and at the need to feel that it’s all just moderate. Actually its a really BIG deal and If I am allowed by my society to say ‘this really will happen to all of us and can we start to celebrate it a little more rather than hide it shamefully away behind glossy images of nubile flesh and sweet petticoats.’ I would like to see beautiful images plastered around me, reminding me that this is a good time to be in the world and not told to cover it with something designed by a pharmaceutical company who says ‘better moderate how you look now because this is a young generation.’
I find I want to speak openly and say ‘hey, look it is changing fast, if you don’t look now you may miss this extraordinary exhibition of life and nature changing,’ I want to ask others, ‘what is happening to you and how does that feel?’ I want us to share our wisdom and stories, pass them on to our daughters and softly cry the tears together of loss.
When I learnt I could not play the part I was once passionate about, I knew I had to accept. I knew I had to step into another role. I wanted to greet this role open heartedly and it meant leaving others behind for a while, because they would not see me in that new place and really know who I was becoming. They would want me to remain the same and I could not. So as many tribe women have done and still do, I became a little reclusive from my own clan, keeping my dreams to myself, living in that small micro world of womb and darkness. Soon I would emerge with fresh knowledge and wisdom and I would know more about the strange theatre of life that has taken part inside me.
So now in natures arms I am told ‘this is the time, your time, to take the attention away from familiarity of all those years and to plant it now in a new earth, ready to share in the light of the new beginning. A greyness is now quite welcome, I applaud to natures remedies to turn me inward to meet with myself. I welcome the moments that show me a deeper connection to the mystery and the ways she forces me to see every part of every dysfunction that I carry. There is little need for any moderation in this cocoon of fire and transmutation, except wine and sugar and that, in my life, is moderate enough.