We shall not cease from exploring,
And the end of our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.
Life never stands still for us. It winds and spirals in great waves and cycles, sometimes taking us back to where we started, other times dropping us somewhere new and uncharted. My life, of late, has been one of rites of passage.
What I mean by that is that I have passed some personal milestones and ends of personal eras. The last of my grandparents passed away. The last of my children grew up and struck out on his own. I turned fifty. And now I have been called upon to help my mother get her things sifted through in preparation for her own new beginning. And I’m getting the cabin ready for sale.
This tiny cabin has been in our family for years. Situated on a lake in Montana, my grandparents made it their final home until they could not live unassisted any longer. When they left, it became a staying place for my sisters and I, and finally it is being used for storage of mom’s “stuff” – boxes and boxes that fill the rooms to jam-packed. This is what my sis and I will be sorting through in a couple of weeks.
I had occasion to spend a little time there a couple of weeks ago, wandering from room to room. Looking past all the “stuff,” I gazed instead at the memories. I remembered star gazing with Grandma, bundled against the cold, stretched out on deck chairs with drinks in our hands. I recalled my children sitting in the sunny living room, surrounded by soft, warm daylight and the warmer glow of being loved by family. I envisioned Grandma’s gardens and her eternal fight with the squirrels. Once again I saw Papa making smart cracks about Grandma’s cooking as he wandered on by.
Some of us at various times have tried to keep the cabin in the family but now we know it is time to let this cycle come to a close. Thank goodness for photos and video and memories. For even though we occasionally have to let go and be swept into the next cycle, it’s still good to look back from time to time to see where we’ve been.