Life. This journey called life is made up of moments. Moments that create impressions that can last a lifetime. These moments are what we treasure like priceless gifts; yet, there are moments that cause sorrow, pain and grief that can take your breath away just as easily. The journey of a life time is usually seen in colored breaths when we reflect backwards. Standing tall in truth of love found can take moments and moments that add up to a life time.
This past week the breaths were like life times. I had been counting the days until my oldest was to arrive home and my middle daughter was graduating high school. We were full of excitement and life. Life. A deep breath to reflect as my daughter Chrissy was ending one chapter and beginning another, a creative birthing into womanhood. Holding it for a moment as a mother, I was grieving the loss of my princess and beginning that empty nest feeling chapter. A long, deep out breath.
That morning the phone rings, a deep inhalation. We get word my mother in law went to the Summer lands. Holding the moment -grief, sorrow consuming. Exhaling as we drive to the airport to pick up my oldest home for 2 day pass to watch her sister graduate. Inhale - the sisters bond again – a deeper sisterhood. Holding the feminine empowerment as three generations of women shared a meal together. Exhale - we drove to the graduation ceremony.
Inhale - watching my son play in his last concert performance. Holding the breath as the pomp and circumstances plays. Exhale as the names are called. Inhaling as the bliss and joy of holding your diploma emanated from her eyes. Holding the breath taking the picture without flooding the camera. Exhale.
Inhaling as held the grief of letting the middle daughter grow up, returning the oldest to the airport and active duty, and the loss of the matriarch of the family. Holding it as in the same moment the joy, pride, and love filled the breath. Exhale. Inhaling as left the teenagers at home and drove the 1500 miles to New England. Holding the moment that contained the fear of leaving the teenagers home alone for the first time. Holding the moment filled with the joy of returning home. Holding the grief that the visit will imbue. Exhaling finally. Inhaling deeply the imperfections of character that feared putting the teenagers on a plane for the first time to fly without standing there to protect them. Holding the trust of friends. Exhale. Inhaling hearing my husband’s grief for the first time. Holding the heartbeat. . . .
There are many other breaths and moments in the past few days. I was told that life is a journey of moments.
After this past weekend, life is a journey of breathes. Breathes that can hold joy, bliss, excitement, and creation. Breathes that give birth to new people, new experiences, and new love. The breathes that impart the exhalation – the death. Every breath taken is a life cycle. A cycle that gives birth, lives, and dies all in a single breath.
Yet, the amazing part of the journey is not the experiences above. At the same breath moment, a women asks another “What can I do to help?”. She asks not expecting something in return, but rather because she ‘feels’ the energy of the tribe. This is a tribe of women who support and nurture one another in all ways. Another woman volunteers to stay at my home, another to cook food, and another to check on the teenagers. Being 1500 miles from home, to have these ‘tribe’ women have your back is a different paradigm than the world has seen.
Inhaling as holds my great nephew for the first time. The pure innocence and joy of toddlers radiates and causes even the deepest sorrow to slip away for the moment. Holding the moment as stands as a sacred witness to my husband and his father share a moment. Exhale.
Every breath, every moment, a cycle. A cycle of birth, living, and death. It is not often that so many breaths, so many moments come together in this rapid succession. It is only in standing still to become the sacred witness of each breath do we see the beauty in all of it. The beauty reveals itself regardless of the external situations. Our lives are not defined by who we are, what we do, or where we go. Our lives are defined by the breaths we take along the way. The true beauty is the love we experience in each breath.
We breathe in and we breathe out to catch the twinkling moments.