It’s hard to believe the end of summer is almost here. The weeks and months have flown by, some on lighthearted wings and some heavy with fear and doubt. Change is hard at any time but I am feeling it more as I grow older. Stevie Nicks wrote an iconic song in the 80’s called Landslide that mused about the passage of time and how we often fight it. Or not so much fight it as resist it because however hard the present moment is at least it’s the demon you know.
In many ways this summer I felt as though the landslide would take me down. I felt battered by the imminent threat of health issues facing my children. I felt both excited and saddened by the change that took my son and my future daughter-in-law to live in a new city far away from us. I felt at a crossroads of what I should be doing with my life. Losing the passion for one thing as the passion for another has grown. Wanting change but fearing it. Afraid of change because of the present life I have built. The fear is often rooted in the fact that all one has built can turn to ashes in a second because of a bad move or a risky decision. No mud, no lotus as the Buddhist adage states. But making that step is easier said than done.
As I write this I am sitting amid the glorious mountains of British Columbia. I am thinking about that landslide that could bring me down as Stevie did. It feels as though these majestic mountains could breathe in a deep breath and release a torrent of rocks and debris tumbling down its mountainside. I imagine it would be a tremendous relief just to purge those things that have clung to it for millennia or perhaps longer. I must release all of that as well. I must trust that I have done what I can to be the mother I’ve wanted to be, the wife, the sister, the friend. Stevie’s lyrics state that as my children get older, it is inevitable I get older too although at times it doesn’t feel that way. Yet I have white in my hair and aches in my hips. And still I realize as old as I might feel I am young compared to my elders who have experienced change for half as many years again. They bravely changed with time as scary as it must have been. So can I.
Last night we were sitting on a beautiful green listening to a concert in the twilight. The mountains around us were rose red with the sunset. The music soared into the air, families danced and sang, the mood was joyful. I saw a young boy playing a harmonica in time with the music, watched a young girl with long wild hair dancing, her arms flung out to embrace the music. Those children were just my memories reflected on the children dancing around me until my eyes blurred with tears. My daughter is a woman now, my son is a man. I wasn’t ready for that time to be past. I wasn’t ready. But time marches on. We think we can make time, we can schedule it or adjust it to our needs. But it is all illusion. The calendar pages turn whether we have kept our appointments or not.
Stevie Nicks believed that time would make us bolder. I hope it’s made me stronger and less afraid. Change is the one constant of time. My children have changed. I have changed. The season is once again about to change. Like Stevie I wonder if I can handle those changes. If I go down with the landslide will I be ready for the next peak to climb? Is there any guarantee that it is the right decision at the right time? No one has the answers to those questions. I am still not certain I am ready to change but I think I will be like that brave mountain. I will take a big, deep breath….and let go.