A Reflection by Sister Dianne Livingstone, MHSH
“…I can’t remember growing older, when did they?”
Summer blows in and brings the signs that we tend to mark the growth of “others.” Graduations, proms, weddings, milestone birthdays, anniversaries—all stop us in our tracks and cause us to create the timeline of life.
One of our Sisters has been watching the progression of four small robin eggs nestled securely above the light on her porch. The hatched baby robins wait, their mouths always open in anticipation of what is to come. Soon it will be time for them to leave the security of the nest and venture out on their own. It is all part of the circle of life.
The “winds of change” are nurtured by preparation and careful planning to set the course for the journey ahead. Too often we focus on the journey of another and fail to trace the pattern of our own journey.
Have our footsteps always gone in a forward pattern? Perhaps, at times, those footprints can be seen weaving back and forth or even in circles. Often, it would be valid to draw the footprints reversing and heading backwards toward their original starting point. Each of us can create a unique pattern when reflecting on our own lives.
The mythologist, Joseph Campbell, describes the times of continuing change in our lives as “threshold moments”—times when the familiar life horizon has been outgrown, when the old concepts, ideals and emotional patterns no longer “fit” who we are.
In their book, Midwives of an Unnamed Future, Mary Ruth Broz, RSM, and Barbara Flynn comment:
“…Campbell’s words are wise and poetic, but practically speaking, when we think of the times when our own lives have been turned upside down, we want to groan over the huge knot in the pit of our stomachs. Each of us will experience it in our own way, but threshold moments almost always usher in a period of personal upheaval and a time of deep soul searching. One way of life has ended and we are adrift. We are no longer where we once belonged and felt comfortable. Now we stand on the edge of the unknown….”
To what or to whom do we turn when we are feeling “adrift?”
What gives us hope as we stand on “the edge of the unknown?”