“So teach us to number our days,
That we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”
I recently returned to my family in Brisbane, in particular to be with my frail mother having a cancer operation. It was a great success – no secondary tumours and she is slowly recovering her strength. My Mother has been wanting ‘to go beyond’, feeling that her time was long passed. The ‘miracle’ of her recovery may not be the successful surgery but also the many family members, friends and staff who constantly visited and demonstrated their practical care and love.
I was by her bedside most of the time, apart from the nights, and witnessed her blossom inwardly as people that she didn’t expect to visit, phone or write, did. These acts of genuine love, respect and honouring opened the door for true healing. Whether my mother lived longer or not, that love extended touched her (and me) deeply. Now she is reflecting on why it is not her time! It has opened another door of conversation between us -about that old quest and question – the meaning of our lives. It has shown her in a very tangible way, that real gratitude for the small, large and especially the unexpected gifts of connection and meaning, make all the difference in our lives. It has also given those who visited, who went out of their way and busy lives, another chance to consider what is important in life – more busyness, consuming, nursing old hurts or taking that time and space to simply love – self and other, in spite of the odds and the challenges of ‘ordinary’ family life and relationships..
Getting older, the winter of our lives is a natural time to reflect upon such matters of valuing and meaning-making. as after the fires of Victoria or other disasters like the earthquakes in Italy. We can lose much but it is the love lost that reaches and compels us most deeply. It is the hand that reaches out and brings you forth that heals both. With this winter’s ‘fire-places’ of hearth and our inner-homes, let us reach into these depths of heart-felt wisdom with family, friends, neighbours and the unknown.
“From time to time one reaches the point
where the pressures of life
seem almost unbearable.
The important thing is to keep the flavour
Of the new and the longing for the miraculous
In spite of everything.”