I've been doing a lot of reading, along with all the fun I've been having with my new friends in Redding, as well as my family. Last week I drove down to Kari's house in El Dorado Hills and spent four days having lots of fun with Kari and David and the triplets: Spencer, Tate, and Avery. You'll recall that they have started their first year of high school - and boy, are they busy - school work, football games, dances, sports, the list goes on. With them in high school it's fun to 'compare notes,' sharing with them (when they have the time to be in a conversation with Mimi) some of my memories of freshman year. For some unknown reason Kari was more available than usual, what with her jobs as wife, mom, athlete, athletic coach, and business owner, so we did quite a bit of retail therapy for ourselves and others.
Back to the reading notation above . . . I came across a book by a woman named Donna Markova, "I Will Not Die an Unlived Life: Reclaiming Purpose and Passion." I'd like to copy the poem she wrote the day her father died. [Her father had believed that his life 'didn't matter' and he literally slipped into death, she thinks, without having really experienced the purpose and passion in his life].
Living Wide Open: Landscapes of the Mind
I will not die an unlived life
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the net as blossom,
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit.
I'm so enjoying my time in Redding with relatives and new friends, healthy living with lots of exercise (with my new knee), coffee klatches, lunches out, reading, playing with my pets, and readying myself for the next big travel adventure beginning in November. This poem just resonated with me at this particular time in my life. It's curious that many people I talk with about previous and upcoming travel adventures seem to be impressed with my "lack of fear." I wasn't always so independent with my solo travel plans; but, I learned a long time ago that if I really want to do something, I have to make it happen. One of my greatest joys of living this retired and mobile lifestyle is that I can, and must, be a go-getter for the things I want to have or to do.
I am happier than I've ever been. How can that be? I'm retired and living on a fixed income. I'm alone; well, except for Lacy and Eleanor. I wake up every single morning with the light bulb coming on saying, "I'm retired. I have innumerable choices of how I want to live this day." I have a Bucket List, as so many others. I suspect that I'll never be able to check off all the items on that list; but I'm going to die trying to get to them all.
And, I'm off . . .