Notes from the Waxhaws

Not yet the end

with 2 comments

Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how. The moment you know how, you begin to die a little.

~ Agnes De Mille

It was such a cool, beautiful morning, this last day of September, that I decided to take a walk along the Catawba river. I needed to clear my head.  If there’s one dominant thought in my mind these days…it’s what’s next? At times, it seems as if I’ve been left sitting on a bench at a bus stop…waiting for a bus that…I’m beginning to realize…is never going to arrive. It’s up to me to stand up…and start walking. But…in which direction?

Heading out, I stopped to pick up the mail. My mailbox is a mile down the gravel dirt road, where pavement announces the beginning of  the outside world. Apparently the Post Office will deliver up to this point…and no further. It’s not very convenient, but  I think I prefer it that way… makes me feel like an outlander of sorts. I was pleasantly surprised upon opening the mailbox that a book that I had recently ordered had arrived…Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change by Pema Chodron, from which the quote at the beginning of this post was taken, and upon which my eyes fell as I first opened it. I once recall reading somewhere else that…the only thing in life of which we can be certain…is uncertainty.

Coincidentally (or are forces conspiring without my knowledge?), yesterday I watched a movie called The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel...which is about a group of older British expats who decide to spend their retirement years living in India. It was both funny…and extremely touching at times when dealing with the psychological aspects of aging…and change.  There was a quote from the movie that resonated so much with me that I wrote it down…

Can we be blamed for feeling we are too old to change? Too scared of disappointment to start it all again? We get up in the morning…we do our best…nothing else matters. But it’s also true that the person who risks nothing…does nothing…has nothing. All we know about the future is that it will be different. Perhaps what we fear is that it will be the same. So we must celebrate the changes because as someone once said, “Everything will be alright in the end…and if it’s not alright…then trust me…it’s not yet the end.”

American Beautyberry

Walking in the early morning light along the Catawba…water flowing over the rocks of  the rapids…gently, but insistently shushing me into silence. Every living thing seemed to be taking advantage of these last days before the cold weather sets in. The end of one season is here…the next is surely coming. It seems to be common knowledge among those who are truly present in the moment…making the most of what’s been given to them…now. Maybe it is time…to strike off in a new direction…to enter the new season that is presenting itself?

2 Responses

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  1. Loved that movie too, Jim. I catch myself also thinking thoughts like…is this it? Will the rest of my life just be waiting for the end? I know myself too well for that…but it is easy to drift down that particular river….hopefully on my back…hoping something will snag me along the way.

    Patti Grace

    October 1, 2012 at 12:16 am

  2. Drifting down a river is a good description, Patti. And yes…preferably not face down :)
    Having a sense of humor does help…doesn’t it?


    October 1, 2012 at 6:24 pm

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