A stranger stands before the door
You’d ask him in but he may want more,
More than you’re willing or able to give.
He’ll shake up your world and change how you live.
He may be a friend, but perhaps he’s a foe.
Taking you places you’d rather not go.
Should I go meekly or put up a fight?
Accept and be cheerful, or take off in flight?
I could slam the door refuse him his end.
Or open it wide receive as a friend.
Yes, that’s the wisest and smartest recorse
For the name of the stranger is “Change” of course.
Today I get the keys to my new apartment – change ahead! Both excited and a little sad as I have loved my time here in my old place.
“I’ve had many troubles, most of which never happened!” Great Mark Twain quote!
That summarizes my last few weeks (during which I’ve barely posted). I might say the troubles did come, but the scary visions of what might come of them didn’t. One of the biggest was a phone call out of the blue during which I discovered my landlord had to sell my cozy apartment I’ve been taking for granted for several years. Not that there was a possibility of being out on the streets, thank God, but still it was like someone wrenched my security blanket away, my personal refuge amidst the storms of life (of which there have been many of late).
One has to delve and face one’s secret fears and mine, I realised, was possibly ending in an unpleasant, dark or uncomfortable place. Being older, an artist, and sensitive to my environment I need a clean, bright, warm, inspiring place in which to function well. I also had to face the possibility that my time in my sweet old English town might be at an end (even my time in the UK). There’s been a kind of pattern to my life and I generally end up moving every three and a half years or so for one reason or another, and I realised it had been three and a half years here.
I know it is always good, every so often, to put everything on the altar and seek God’s will in my life… could He be trying to show me something? Will this be a small change or a big change? I know the best thing one can do with change is embrace it.
Thankfully this change turned out not to be so earth shattering in the end and I hope to soon finalise a contract for a new apartment very close to my youngest daughter’s, it’s clean, light, well kept with an incredible view. not so hard lol!
The major change however was to downsize to one bedroom and also put my name on a two year waiting list for over 60s sheltered housing (cute independent studio flats) with a local church association. Looking to the future I wouldn’t want this to happen in my 70’s!
So all’s well that ends well, change happened but not the scary bit thank God!
Contrasts wring my heart today. Hidden beneath the seat of one of our boats are another batch of eggs, while proud parents walk their gosling brood across the jetty to explore the spring. In contrast I take one who has served, now aged, recovering slowly from a life changing operation. He cannot remember now, he tells me with a touch of sadness, how to sail. As I take him slowly out on the lake contrasting his former lifelong abilities with my incompetent navigation, it begins to return.
“Loosen the starboard line, just a wee bit, see, let it catch the wind…” I see the joy of sailing kindle in his eyes, but he is no longer the teacher, the one who takes the disabled out on the boats. The tide has changed, we all fuss over him with hugs, tea and cakes and sailing…
I sense his time drawing nearer as the goslings is beginning, life’s circle coming to an end, volunteer becoming sailor. He keeps a smile but it’s hard. I’ll take him again, we all will, his investment has grown dividends of love and friendship, what he has given he will receive.
A new era is soon to begin. There have been many eras, many roles, in my life, changing countries, cultures, relationships etc. and now my excitement builds as a new one comes into view.
You see the grandson I take care of a lot (dropping at school, picking up and helping with homework etc.) will soon start secondary school and have officially outgrown granny lol. He will then be able to make the school trip with his older half brother. Already at 11 he rarely needs a babysitter more a place to stay till he gets picked up and someone to see he rides home safely.
Not only will I be free of the 3pm constraint that limits my activities somewhat but my youngest grandson who I tend to also interact with somewhat will start primary school. I’m happy they both got into excellent schools which they like a lot (not always the case in London)and will of course be close by should need arise.
I’m anticipating the freedom though and being able to do some of the things I’ve had to put on the back burner for the past few years, like holidays, trips to see more far flung friends, more frequent days out in London etc. and of course less interruptions in my time to write lol.I think this will be a great era!