Tuesday, November 15, 2005

What Used To Be...

I remember this night. It was clear and crisp; a Christmas Eve night nearly twenty years ago.

It was our tradition, my mother, sister and me, to walk around our little town on the night before Christmas, taking in the beautiful lights and softly singing carols. I had stopped for a moment to look up at the starlit sky when my sister snapped this photograph.

I was a young woman then, filled with dreams and hopes, and my heart was still wide open to love, opportunity and the future that lay ahead. All I had known to that point was the security of a close family, dear and faithful friends and a cup brimming with blessings. I trusted the world, believing in its goodness, and my faith in the kindness of humanity was strong. I followed the Golden Rule, marking my journey along a sun-lit, lovely path.

But life is not always easy. We learn that somewhere in the midst of adulthood. The path twists and turns, sometimes going uphill in a tiring direction, sometimes rolling downhill and out of control. Dreams are lost and pieces are broken. And shadows sometimes shroud the sun.

I look at her, that woman back then, and miss what used to be. The youthful innocence is gone now and life has aged her tender heart. Opportunities have come and gone, dreams have changed. Yet, much remains. I still count my blessings, I still feel great joy. And the secret, I've found, through the twists and the turns, is not biding my time waiting for life to happen, but in grasping it tightly right nowwhile it's here.

I remember the girl who used to be. She grew and she changed but somewhere, somehow..... still....she is here.

10 comments:

srp said...

I remember my own path in your words. What makes me so sad is that while I've tried to make that "secure" family for my daughter, it is not the same as the "whole" family I had growing up. I worry about her ability to form her own "complete" family unit or if she will even want to try to find love because of this. It is a sign of our changing times and the change has not been for the better. All I can do is love her, teach her that God loves her and even if human relationships fail her, His will not.

martie said...

Thank you Lori for this post. It brings back so many memories for the person that I, too, used to be. And like you, have grown and changed....but still count my many blessings. It is good to be reminded of this.

Michael said...

I remember daily what my Dad has said to me often. "Life is a journey,not a destination". He learned that through his sobriety. I find it difficult at times to think that way. I am a lot like you Lori. I "mourn" my loss of innocence and wish things would have gone a little different than they did. But.....I look around and I see what is good and positive about what is in my life and it makes things a little easier to take. It helps to know that there is someone like you out there that feels like I do, sometimes I feel very alone in that feeling and I think I am strange because of it. I know that in fact we are lucky, because we still value the feelings of childhood. It makes us what we are! And that is nothing to be sad about!

clew said...

Lori, this is such a sweet post ... I too often gaze upon old photos and remember how little I knew of the tough lessons of life - and how the rugged road has tempered me into a strong woman, stronger than I ever thought I could be.

It wasn't always fun, but it's been worth it :)

I thank God every day that He uses you, my blog friend, to bless me and so many other people with your reflections. :)

Patrick said...

There is a look in your face in that photo that says so many things. I think back on who I used to be and thank God for every experience, both good and bad. Thank you once again for sharing your heart so willingly. Man is it cold out here the last couple of days. Wait until you see my next post.

Lance said...

You are still here and we are grateful

McSwain said...

A familiar story. You once said on my blog, "Though we seem really different, I think our hearts are much the same." I feel that here. I'm sure that many of us can relate to this feeling.

Pete Mitchell said...

That girl from 20 years ago is still the same girl; just older, wiser, and even better than before.
My nephew was born yesterday and made me realize that one of our most important responibilities as adults is to help maintain that innocence for our children for as long as possible; so your post had a very personal meaning for me today. Thank you.

Rebecca said...

...and the little girl should be very proud of the woman... ;)

Bainwen Gilrana said...

We are all everyone we have ever been. :-)