“There is a deep mystery in being poised on the edge of something new in my life, asking how to maneuver the next part of the trail before me.” St. Bernhard of Montjoux (Backpacking with the Saints, Beldon Lane p.218).
As I approached a monumental birthday, and truly a change in status of age, I decided I wanted to be with girlfriends who have known me most of my turbulent and interesting life. We met at a house on Lake Buchanan in the middle of Texas. These women have been friends with me through 35 years of cancers, marriages, divorces and life. I have also shared their wanted and unimagined changes as well.
I kept the group very small so we could share deeply and we did. What I noticed most was how the conversation had changed since we were together in our 30s. We were career and young marriage oriented, plans, hopes and dreams of travel and kids. Now we talk about our health issues. Our concerns are outward focused on our aging parents, husbands, grandchildren and grown children.
We spoke about current or future retirement and what that means for hiking, walking and exercise. Our limitations can be ‘pushed through,’ but still have consequences. I know I can do all the things I did in my 30s but my body pays for the fun and adventure the next few days. Recovery takes longer. Do whatever you want and can do WHILE YOU CAN. I have no regrets, but I am seeing my body change more the last five years than in the previous decade.
We had so many food issues among us: Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, food allergies and food sensitivities, so cooking was a challenge. Protein, vegetables, and fruit and yes, a little alcohol and chocolate made the food we could eat interesting and fun. We each had one meal to prepare and provide all the ingredients, so no one worked too hard.
An old Girl Scout song says: “Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other is gold.” I had a golden weekend with these women.
“God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks.
It’s a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God. It’s a good thing when you’re young to stick it out through the hard times. When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don’t ask questions: Wait for hope to appear.
Don’t run from trouble. Take it full-face. The “worst” is never the worst. Why? Because the Master won’t ever walk out and fail to return. If he works severely, he also works tenderly. His stockpiles of loyal love are immense.” Lamentations 3: 28-31