New Posts on Wednesdays and Saturdays -- er generally

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

mothering


My life, as it is for most of us, seems a mix of trying to meet the needs of others, which for me can mean animals under my care, family, friends, the bigger picture of community and balancing that with meeting my own needs. Heck sometimes just trying to figure out my own needs.

As I get deeper into old age, I think more about the years that might be left and what am I going to do with them. I also think about whether what I am doing today is creating a tomorrow I will want.

I visualize myself as a very old woman with long white hair who chops her own firewood. Never mind that I am afraid of sharp objects and don't chop it now. Mostly, other than easy kindling creation, I just stack, carry and build fires with it, does that count?

It's more the mental imagery of staying strong virtually until the end and not the kind of strong that comes from working out at a gym but one that comes from real physical labor, keeping a garden, tending a few animals, involved with my own sustenance. The imagining of a place where everything is done for me is not on my old age list. I might be forced to accept that someday. I am realistic. If it comes, it won't be because I want it.

Some years ago, I wrote a poem when I really got to thinking about how today builds tomorrow. I then went looking for a photograph to illustrate it. This week I took that photograph and used it as a digital painting and backdrop for the concept.

Whatever we do today prepares the ground for tomorrow. For our whole life span, we can be looking for fertile ground, breaking soil, plowing, sowing, watering, harvesting, or we can allow weeds to crowd out our growth and production. We can plant and then forget to harvest. It really is a cycle of life and is no less true when we have fewer days ahead than when we are young with what seemed the world in front of us.

Click on the first digital painting to read the poem. The digital painting below is what I would like to be in the future. I want old woman energy to flow through me in the most positive way. If I was a man, that'd be old man energy.

Old woman energy has memories, experience, a lifetime behind it. Yes, it has less days ahead but whatever might be, that's what old woman energy is still nurturing. Old woman energy is still mother to her future.

9 comments:

robin andrea said...

I love this, rain. I especially love your concept of aging and how we "mother" and nurture what will come. I too imagine myself with long gray hair, chopping wood, tending the garden. How it always was... how it always will be.

Wonderful post.

Darlene said...

I no longer need to imagine. I am there.

Am I the person I thought I would be? No; not in a million years. I never visualized being unable to walk without aid, or unable to hear music, or drive, etc., etc., etc.

Yet here I am, still able to live alone and take care of my basic needs. In many ways I am still the person I was when I was young. The difference is, that person is hiding in an old body.

mandt said...

"I just stack, carry and build fires with it, does that count?" Oh, indeed. That's it exactly Rain. Beautiful essay and poem.

Kay Dennison said...

I loved this!!!! It will keep me busy for a while!

TorAa said...

I think you are very realistic regarding aging.
I need to tell myself time after time: Remember you are not 18 any more.
I accept youngsters walking faster than me.
I accept I'm very careful when walking on ice during the winter. Can even look like I'm searching for a rollator;)

-- The poem is very wise

mandt said...

Age is the new 'beginning!'

TaraDharma said...

beautifully thoughtful post, Rain. I am especially struck by, "Whatever we do today prepares the ground for tomorrow. For our whole life span, we can be looking for fertile ground, breaking soil, plowing, sowing, watering, harvesting, or we can allow weeds to crowd out our growth and production." That doesn't stop with our growing older, indeed, for me, it becomes even more important. I took care of the kids, took care of my co-workers, friends, relatives. Now, it is time to be keenly aware of taking care of me, so that I may have the most productive happy old woman life I can.

Annotated Margins said...

Wonderful post. You know I look in the mirror and the aging fella in there isn't the same fella in here who's still thinking about motorcycles, rock climbing, and train-hopping. The physical is no longer here, but the energy is, so I just keep thinking...

Fran aka Redondowriter said...

I love this post. I can so identify with it. I like old women energy, too.