Saturday, July 2, 2011
Glaciers and Streams
But, wait. My lifetime is not over. Yes, I am past 50, over halfway through an average human lifespan. But, over halfway does not mean downhill.
What does the glacier have to do with me? Well, let's see...
A glacier is a frozen river flowing ever slowly down a mountain usually to a body of water. I am definitely not frozen, I am a warm, giving person. I give a lot to the people in my life, some may say even too much. I give to my students, my friends and partners. I have learned that I gave too much to my past partners. Will I still give to the Man Across the Bridge? Absolutely, but I will learn to let him give to me.
Nor am I a river, but I am flowing; flowing through life. Glaciers flow v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y down the mountain, and while I have no control over the speed at which I flow through life, for that would mean controlling the earth's rotations, I can control the speed at which I experience life. I can sit on the sidelines and watch it go by, or get out there and participate. Sure, aches and pains from advancing age, may (may!) have to be taken into account, but there are other adventures that can be considered.
But, what can I learn from a glacier? Patience. Patience in the areas of my life where patience is necessary, learning to slow down and savor those special moments and experiences, like a fine wine, meal, or piece of chocolate. In the last few months I feel I have been more like this stream flowing quickly down the mountain. I have grown tremendously in my new life. Too fast? Perhaps, but I don't feel overwhelmed by it, rather exhilarated, liberated. So, maybe not.
In dealing with life's situations, it is best to look at the magnitude of the problem. Is it immoveable? Can I work around it (for now)? Or should I pick it up, and erode it until I can no longer consider it a problem? My lesson here is I need to be a glacier where patience, elegance and strength are called for, and a stream where twisting and churning are needed. Trouble is, I don't always know which is which.