Sunday was Mother’s Day here in America. It was a very sweet celebration this year. My daughter and her classmates sang songs about us; we were heroes, monster slayers and teddy bears while my son’s witty and heartfelt card made me smile in a way that hasn’t left me all week. It seemed somehow not quite right to sit for a meal and so we all piled into the car and drove down to Dog Beach. It was a surprisingly sunny afternoon in the end from which we all returned rather pink. As we whiled away the afternoon building sand castles, splashing in the silvery ocean and playing fetch with the dog it struck me, as it always does, that our time together is as fleeting as the footprints in the sand.
The theme of change and time passing is all around us at the moment where our children are concerned. As our son prepares to graduate from middle school and embark on his high school career our daughter readies herself for elementary school. Teachers and established parents hosted a welcome party for the incoming children; a wonderful afternoon. We watched our daughter laugh and chat with new friends and I was powerfully reminded of how fast these past four years have flown. I don’t think I was so aware of this when my son was little- we were so much younger then- and so impatient I guess.
It will be two years next month since we made the move up the road from Orange County to Los Angeles and it is already six years since we left New York. As I wrote last week places are very much on my mind these days. California is not a location I have found easy to inhabit. Why that’s so I can’t really say without lapsing into cliche and meaningless generalities. I do think, however, that there is some truth in the idea that California is what you bring to it, not what it brings to you. Living here can, in fact, be an immensely useful situation to be thrust into, once you understand the parameters you are dealing with.
One thing that has struck me recently is the huge benefit that comes from travelling around and living in different places. One’s mind is forced to open and then re-open continually; to accept that the limits we put on situations and our own capacities are utterly illusory. Also I think, one gains a glimpse of how everywhere, all over the world, there are people, families like one’s own, living out their lives, making sacrifices to raise their children and trying to live a good life. It somehow knocks down our tendency to say, this much and no more. Because, there is always more. We can always meet another friend, another opportunity for development can always arise, another connection can always be made. It leaves me with a very rejuvenating sense of enrichment and an understanding that there is no need to place a limitation on possibilities or future successes as long as one is showing up for them.