I knocked on the door but no one answered. A lone black container took vigil on the porch. I knocked again. Silence. The door stayed closed. I know it won’t open, but yet I am not ready to say goodbye. My car keys slip out of my hand. The jingle of the metal landing on the porch took me to a time when I had the right keys to enter. Not anymore.
I drove to my childhood home in September of this year. As I walked to the driveway, I saw the familiar mailbox where I remember racing barefooted to see what unexpected surprises might be waiting in the envelopes. The creme and black bricks stared back at me and in a brief flash, I saw my young self studying late into the nights on our kitchen dining table, the boom-box in my room on my scratched dresser, and how when my parents and my sister slept, I drew smiley faces on the bottom of their feet.
But now, another family seeks refuge in my childhood home. And the enormity of that thought hit me several times this past year. I know this. Life is filled with a continuum of goodbyes. And as we do so, we are all standing vigil on our metaphorical porches. But are we really the enjoying the sway of the rocking chair? Are we drinking our tea slow? Do we hear the laughter of our children as we watch them grow? Do we breathe in the smell of the fresh grass or the budding roses?
This is what I’ve been asking myself: Do we really know and feel what we are living as we pass through each day? I’ve whispered and yelled the mantra, Be here now. And only in the last year, did I really understand the true meaning of this phrase. It doesn’t mean I am always living in the present, but accepting the fact that controlling uncertainity is an allusion.
Being here now for me means really embracing what happens before my continuum of goodbyes.
Happy New Year to you and yours. My hope for all of you is to really be mindful of the present. Thanks so much reading and commenting and traveling with me. All of you give me the courage everyday to face the page and fill it with my truth and for that I am forever grateful.
Image by woodleywonderworks
Rudri, beautiful thoughts. I felt sad reading it, it felt like I was with you there. I too went to my childhood home and stood outside and cried. It was after my mom passed away. I wish you to live in the present and I hope you find happiness in your life every day. Happy New Year. Xoxo
Happy New Year, Rudri. It’s amazing what you can convey in just a few paragraphs. Beautiful.
Being here now for me means really embracing what happens before my continuum of goodbyes. – elegantly stated, so beautiful and true. I’ve gone back to visit my childhood home, such a bittersweet experience. Wishing you a lovely year living in the time that matters now.
What a lovely set of reflections. Goodbyes grow more frequent with age; I’m not sure the pain eases, but perhaps we accept them more easily.
As we say goodbye to 2011 and welcome 2012, I’m wishing you and yours a happy and healthy new year full of hellos.
Wishing you Great Good Cheer, Rudri, for this, hopefully, present and compassionate New Year—and the fellowship of encouraging and reminding and returning to the wonder, with all its joys and sorrows, of the eternally living moment. Thanks for reminding us. Thanks for feeling it. Thanks for writing it. Thanks for living it. Namaste
A lovely rumination, Rudri. I’ve always been adaptable, transitioning quickly to the next thing, my new reality. It isn’t always easy, but for me it’s a matter of fact: What choice do we have? I returned this year to a town and a house I loved and spent much time in as a child. When I revisit that way, it feels like a backward passage in time. My memories can be so sharp and concrete that they feel almost like an alternate reality – something I left that still exists. I suppose they do still exist, albeit very differently. Your posts so often make me think and remember! Thank you for that.
And as for the new year – yes, cheers to the present, to the goodness of now and what’s next. Happy 2012.