Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Cycles of living

I'm aware lately == especially == of cycles. Not the kind you ride, at least literally, but the ebb and flow of life, of events, of seasons, of acquaintances and friends. Maybe it's the changing of the seasons, winter to spring, and the garden. Maybe it's the half-birthday this month that makes us both eligible to withdraw funds from our IRAs without penalty, and the knowledge that in another six months, we both hit that next big "0." Life goes on.

All the little plants in the garden are thriving, loving the sunshine and warm temperatures. Even some of the little deer-bitten nubs are growing leaves -- yes, I planted several of those poor little victims. I picked a big bag of lettuce tonight for dinner and a few marble-sized radishes. Each lettuce variety has such a distinct flavor! I love it fresh like that.

In the part that just got planted, there are sunflower and swiss chard seedlings already popping. The zucchini and the cucumber starts are already several inches bigger. And we should have abundant peppers -- lots of red, a few green, two Hatch, and one hot. I love seeing them respond to the sun and the water.

Events: we're back to the Art and Wine festival already; the Arts Council is moving towards membership dues time again and another ArtsTalk newsletter (when I get time!); I was hearing about graduations and vacations today. A school cycle completed. Seems like a long time ago that I was involved with school, either for myself or for my daughter.

This weekend I see my friend Julie from Indiana who is coming to SF for a few days with another friend. We've been friends for about 25 years now, and I love how we just pick right up where we left off, still on the same wave length. I hate driving to the Bay Area and don't like driving in downtown SF because I'm always watching for those one-way streets and terrorizing cab drivers, and because it's always crowded and I inevitably have to pass my destination up and go back around again. HOWEVER, I want to see her and we will have a good time. We're doing some different things this time -- probably a choral evensong at Grace Cathedral, an evening performance of Beach Blanket Babylon, who knows what else. (She turns that "0" decade in just a few I'm bringing her a photo I took of her and our friend Kay when I was in Indiana last October.)

I've written before about reasons, seasons and lifetimes. I think Julie is a lifetime friend. And I feel as though I have an abundance of good friends right now too - actually, I feel as though I have more friends now than at any other time in my life. What a blessing! I hope I give them back the joy and blessing that they give me.

Another cycle.

I feel the changes in my body as I age, too -- the legs that once were smooth and firm all the way up have ripples in the thighs and lumps in the calves. I haven't had a proper waist in years. My neck shows that I'm no longer under 40...or 50... The hair, while turning an enviable mixture of gray and white (according to my hair dresser and various friends who are surprised to learn that I don't highlight it at all), still is gray, and I was asked today, for the first time, what color my "natural" hair color used to be....GAK! Y'mean it doesn't show anymore for all the gray? You can't tell?

Another cycle.

I'm aware that life gets shorter and shorter as the months go by. I'm aware that I am cozying up to "senior citizen" status. I'm aware of aches and pains that 20 years ago would have been unremarkable, and now are noted and sometimes researched, and discussed with physicians.

I'm aware that my opinions are sometimes shaped by events that are more than 30 years old...that I have shoes older than some of my younger acquaintances.

And yet I really try to keep a fresh outlook, try to be open rather than judgmental (usually not terribly successfully), try to be accepting and tolerant of differences in actions and beliefs.

And yet. I simply fail to be very understanding when people pretend ignorance of process and rules because they're either lazy or self-serving. I am very intolerant of those who search for a way around some rule or process they don't like or who fail to be truthful and honest in their dealings with others, especially with clients. I just don't understand people who see nothing wrong with walking all over someone else in order to get what they want -- and I'm not very kind about saying so.

Maybe I'm turning into one of those opinionated, fiesty old women? I know. I'm not old. Not yet. I'm not sure when "old" is -- but it's about 20 years older than I am at any given time.

So here we are again -- new beginnings and second chances. Another cycle of spring into summer. Another season of the year. Another chance at becoming and learning and giving and loving. It never gets old
, even as we do.

I've been reading magazines, magazines, magazines!

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