Giving In to Melancholy
Blame it on the rain, the first appearance of frost, the cold descent into winter. No matter how I try to fight it, I can’t shake the feeling that my time is slowly slipping away. Seasons come and go, cycle after cycle. It seems I have no other path to travel but to wander back in my mind to summers that have come and gone.
I am trying to grasp hold of the comfortable and comforting. The past is the place where I find memories of when the future seemed exciting and so full of hope. But the past is not always helpful.
Certainly, I have great memories, but they are just memories, I can’t touch them even though they can touch me. The only place I can grasp hold of hope is in the future. That’s where I am heading this morning.
I wonder what I am hoping to find as I start this too familiar journey of introspection. I hope for a sense that the days ahead of me are full of life. My seventy-year-old body forces me to make exceptions and compromises. I hope I can fully embrace that challenge. My mind is, however, operating like that of an innocent twenty-year-old-full of hope but short of wisdom.
I hope to make new friends this time around. I also hope to re-kindle conversation with old friends and to offer words of hope and encouragement to those who are seeking their own meaning and hope. The trouble with retirement and with my limited mobility is that I am compelled to develop new habits, new expectations, new meaning. I don’t know how eager I am to go through this.
I meet on Tuesdays and Wednesdays with two groups of folks who are my sounding board and my affirmation. They challenge me in ways which they may not be aware of. Their insights and observations touch me at a deep, personal level, all of which I do not fully share or for which I seldom offer adequate thanks to these special folks. Each one of them holds a special place in my heart and in my private thoughts.
One thing I hope for is the courage to share my thanks with these folks. Too often I am cavalier and selfish with my thanks. They deserve more. Friends, old and new, deserve better.
As I go forward, I hope for the strength to share and the compassion to give back what I have received from these friends of mine. I miss them when I cannot be with them. I will miss them when we move south.
Tuesday and Wednesday are coming once again. Here’s my chance to be the kind of friend to those folks that they have been for me. Maybe that’s where I will find warmth in the winter fast approaching. Here is my tangible source of hope.
Robert Louis Stevenson said, “To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.” I am grateful for all those who open up doors of understanding, guiding me to become what I may be capable of.
I hope I can return the favor.