Beginning again

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.” – Shunryu Suzuki 

The willingness to start over. Again. It’s a quality I admire in others and myself.

When things are not how you hoped. Or maybe they are. But you realize that what you want now is different.

When you see an opening, an opportunity. And finally, you feel like you can reach toward what you love.

Sometimes you are pushed. Or you fall. You find yourself putting the pieces back. It’s different this time. You look different and feel different and the only thing to do is accept it.

In the last few weeks, the disease took hold of her. All her energy gone. The weight fell off. Her blood unable to carry oxygen. One day, she stopped breathing and the pain was over for her. But not for us.

Now we try to make sense of a complicated life. I knew her at her best. Maybe some people save the best parts of themselves for their grandchildren. Or maybe it takes a lifetime to become a person you are proud to be. Maybe I am lucky.

I remember the first time I realized the extent of the trauma she had experienced. We were sitting in my parents’ house, her and I having a private conversation away from the crowd. I had been sheltered from her truth before that.

She started over when she could and she was ready. I admire that about her. She carried on. She stayed when everyone else left. And she started over many times. The last time she built a new life for herself she truly seemed happy. Everyone could see it. It takes a lifetime of starting over to get there sometimes. I am lucky to have learned that from her.

Keep going. Keep beginning again.




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