Today it seems like my youth is only a distant memory. I remember being able to stay out all night drinking and then be able to go straight into work the next day without feeling the effects of it at all. I remember being a size 30 jeans and wearing a medium sized shirt. I also remember hair. Pretty much, all of those things are only flits through my mind every so often.
If you had told me back then that I would be experiencing the aches and pains that I do now….or feeling that most crises are going to resolve themselves, I would have given you a nervous laugh and gone back to experiencing the angst of who I was going to go dancing with that weekend.
I look into the mirror today…I may as well say, “Mirror, mirror, on the wall….” Well, anyway you get it. Only my mirror looks back and says, “Oh no, darlin’, when did you get those crows feet? And when did your hair disappear? Ooooh you look nothing like you did twenty years ago.”
The world has taught us to be vain. For women, you have been given unrealistic expectations by Hollywood. Is anyone really a size 00? Men, it has been said, look distinguished as we get older. I beg to differ. We are held to just as high a standard. We are expected to look like Sean Connery or John Forsyth or Harrison Ford or Richard Gere. Again, my magic mirror has a really wicked sense of humor. It is every morning, he feels the need to replace his regular reflective glass with the glass of a fun house mirror. I am widened in certain places and ballooned in others.
As I was walking this afternoon. I felt a soft breeze rustling through the branches of the old trees here on the property. I always use those opportunities to converse with the Goddess and commune with the fae. Today was pleasant and soothing. I walked slowly….barely paying attention….until I tripped over the roots of the large maple in front of our condo. As I sat on the sidewalk nursing the nasty scrape from the concrete, the Goddess took that opportunity to show me some things.
“You see, you aren’t much different from that old maple there. When you were young, you were much like her as a seedling. You needed someone else to take care of the necessities. Feeding, nurturing were the responsibilities of those who were stronger. As you got older, you were much like she was as a sapling. You were green, limber….you were swayed by anything that caressed your branches. Then you became more mature….this is when others relied on you. Mother maple offered shelter and sustenance to the birds and squirrels and many other lifeforms. You, at that age, raised your nieces, helped other young men who were struggling with their sexuality….you were then the nurturer. Now mother maple is old…there are cracks in her bark, knots in her trunk. She has even got scars where storms and heavy winds have damaged her. There are even a few bugs burrowed in here and there. You are the same my dear. Yes you have wrinkles and scars from past hurts….but look at how strongly you stand. As you get older, many more things will change. Mother maple will soon go back to the earth from decay. You will do the same. This isn’t something to be saddened by….but a necessary part of the life cycle. She will be reborn through many of the seedlings that have come from her branches. You will also be reborn. Who will you be next time….Goddess only knows.” As she imparts this to me, I feel a giggle in the breeze and a kiss against my leg.
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, will I stumble? Will I fall? If I do, who catches me? Show me now, please let me see. Mirror, mirror, strength is there…pushing me to who knows where. Drive, desires…..worlds unknown, working deep inside this crone. Neverending, the process be….As I will, so mote it be.