Candlelight over the valley.
After a long hot day of working on our stuff, we settled into the usual chairs at the old table outside the kitchen door. Dusk was steadily creeping up over the hills, touching our bare feet, cooling us down on the now shady terrace. Shadows deepened within the underside of the grape arbor, as a breeze rustled the white paper napkins held still by our favorite blue-handled utensils. This is the time of day to give up all striving, surrender to the sound of an unknown chatter in the nearby woods and soak it all in—breathe as if to allow insight or the gift of ancient wisdom to arise.
That is how our world was yesterday evening at 9 pm.
While we were eating, we talked to each other about the curious physical changes we were both experiencing. Awareness of shifts, forms and wrinkles that have most likely come to stay—hands that seem to belong to someone else. Perhaps our video making serves another more important purpose: to offer a clear picture of how we really look today. There can be no denial when documented in living color, confirming that which we both have sensed but not yet acknowledged.
We then spoke of acceptance and gratitude for these bodies made just for us. They have served us well, yet there is much more to do. Then our conversation paused for a moment as we settled into what Cheryl referred to as a “turning.” The double meaning was interesting as we imagined not only the apparent outward physical changes, but more importantly, the inward changes that were upon us, as if the physical body was gracefully and naturally signaling us to pay close attention to what is now possible inside. At such moments, we are able to release the grip on our striving, if we will just pause long enough to listen. Cheryl called it the possibility of “turning around.” Our speed slows and we begin to pivot in our tracks, glancing back to where we came from. We had always been taught to “never look back.” We aren’t sure now if that is sound advice. Instead, maybe it could be something like, “As soon as you can . . . turn around!”
We feel ourselves changing, pausing, pivoting and turning. With excitement and anticipation we are reaching out with our very best efforts to embrace the change.
Several hours have passed. Darkness has obscured the green rolling hills—they have become ink blots under the canopy of stars. We close out the evening with a toast to the mysterious feelings ushering us through to the next phase of this life. There is nothing like a candlelight dinner, slow food and the sound of an unknown chatter of animals in the nearby woods to coax out those inner voices, urging us to turn around and listen—great possibilities are at hand.
That’s how we closed that soulful evening at 11:00 pm.
Note: You may also enjoy our musical story called “Turn Around.”