Divine Daytripper Freelance Travel Writer

We Desire What Creation Longs For 

…and the earth continues to spin on its axis…and we hold on to what we once knew…and we ask…how dare you continue to turn when I am so far left behind…I can’t find my way home…

Change.  How do we hold on to our reality when change is all around us?  The world turns so fast.  My belief is that we always want to go back to what we know: our comfort zone— our place of familiarity.  My purpose in life is to be a mother of my two children: 16 and 18.  They are in my care one week on, one week off.  The week off they are with their father, a dear friend of mine.  This arrangement has been so for the last five years—since the unraveling of our family. Now that the children—teenagers really, are older they have their own lives.  They have cars, vibrant social lives and an affinity for independence.  My purpose in life has changed.

Diarmuid O’Murchu, theologian and philosopher said we need to lose our life to find it. This paradox of embracing and letting go of my comfort zone is a slippery slope. On difficult days I take one step forward—then two steps backward.   On peaceful days I take two steps forward—and hope I don’t slide backwards.  It is a tall mountain to climb and I want to reach the top. 

The concept of creation and destruction intrigues me. It is the underlying principal of change. After all, there is no way to keep everything the same.  In order to make room for the new, we have to release the old. Like the comedian Steven Wright said, “you can’t have everything, where would you put it?”
The process of destruction to make room for creation seems so harsh and insensitive. 

I equate it with birth and death. On the universal scale, we see Supernovas — brand new stars being born. They are brilliant and explosive.  We learn about the perception of black holes—the death of stars and their dark matter gobbling everything within its radius, but there are no Hubble Telescope photo images of these theories. Much like there are few pictures of human beings close to dying.  Most of us will agree that there is more joy in a picture of a newborn than of a person in failing health knocking on death’s door.

On the global level there is the paradox of destruction and creation: wars are fought, whole cities annihilated and people are wounded for life.   The upside of this destruction? The creation of a new government or the promise of everlasting peace.

On the personal level, the cycle of destruction doesn’t seem so grandiose.  It is sublime.  Equal parts shimmer and shade.  Meals go unshared, sweet young bodies go untucked, the telling of stories go untold.  A void is left that at times feels wide like the Grand Canyon.  It is stark, raw and once in a while beautiful.  I fall to the bottom of this turgid void.  There is no way to climb back out.  The canyon walls are steep and slippery.  Then magic happens.  Call it transformation—or the process of creation. 

At the bottom of this vast canyon there is a flowing river.  Hope.  By the river’s edge I see a raft.  With caution, I step onto the raft, and with one stroke of an oar I am once again free, drawn to the future—to trust, risk, and explore.  I hold onto this new reality with a light embrace.   I remember Ghandi saying you can’t shake hands with a closed fist.  Maybe this time around I will be more open and less closed—less guarded and more available for experience.  I realize the impermanent nature of our time here on Earth.  The only constant is change.   
In my life, this process of creation and destruction, or birth and death, is a gradual transformation of self.   What I once held as dear—the role of mother, remains.  The investment I made in my children’s lives is not forgotten.  The full year each child spent at my breast; the ten patient years of watching soccer practice and games; and all the years of preparing their favorite meals so they would feel nurtured.  These actions are hard coded into their memory banks.  They will always remember their mother as a devoted, loving soul who embraced their existence. 

I continue to work against my natural instinct and let go of the tight grip I once held on my children’s lives.  There is less follow-up and more trust.  The steps are small, yet meaningful.  I no longer deliver forgotten lunches to school.  I don’t make up false dental appointments to excuse an absence.  I wait for them to ask me for money instead of anticipating their needs. 

I know the responsibility of their transition from child to young adult is not mine to shoulder alone.  I live in faith that the influence over their lives is shared by many—and that the sway will be positive.  But I can’t be certain—I have to let it go.

The creation of this new relationship to my children is built on a premise of vulnerability.  They are learning to see me in a new light—a real person, flesh and bone.  I am not perfect.  Will they still love me as much as before, or will they reject me because I am not who they want me to be?  It is a risk I am willing to take.  At its very core, the concept is violent and confrontational. Destruction and creation: I must destroy the old to make way for the new—in between there is transformation.

I want to create this new relationship through intimate conversation, mid-life adult to young adult.  It is a gradual process of change.  I expect their resistance.  The idea of them treating their mother as a person means they must release their identity as children.  The reality of this new way of being in the world for them can be intimidating.  Mommy—one of their kind—yuck!  Still.  The process of relationship building continues.  I know the greatest legacy I can offer my children is a place to call home, but it is not made of brick and mortar. We live together in the ethers—the place between earth and heaven—in the chambers of the heart.  Pluck a heartstring and listen to the resonate tone.  It will please you.