Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Cycles and Circles of Life's Transitions

I've been thinking a lot about circles and how they show up in my life. Our lives are never ending circles of beginnings and endings, then new beginnings, then an ending. We must let go of something to let something else happen. People are born, people die, we lose a friend, we gain a new friend, we give up a job to find our heart's content of a career, we let go of what is not working to find what does. Circles, cycles and transitions, change. It's all a part of life and yet we struggle with it and resist it because it doesn't always feel good.

I have just been blessed with one of the most remarkable events since the births of my own daughter and son -- the birth of my grandson. I feel so many of the same feelings I felt when they were born - wonder, delight, awe, emotions so near the surface I would cry just looking at their marvelous faces and hands. He evokes these same emotions plus more. Not only do I feel this amazing miracle of birth, I also experience new emotions watching my daughter, my precious little girl, delight in being a mommy --this is really the more heart-warming component -- the tenderness I feel watching her bond with him. It truly feels like the greatest expression of the circle of life, so pure and true.

I have two older cats - 11 and 14 years old. They have been with me since my daughter brought them home as kittens. Both big boy cats, they have been my loves through all these years. Loving and loyal, when I lived alone, they both slept on my bed with me. My 11 year old boy - Willy is a funny contradiction. On the one hand, he is a fighter. Watch out any intruder kitties, as Willy will faithfully defend his turf and family, gaining him a nicked ear and other assorted ailments through the years. On the other hand, he is the most loving and giving kitty, faithfully waiting for me to come get coffee every morning, purring and rubbing against my legs, his eyes all enlarged with the face that says "I love you soooooo much". Our morning ritual is that he purrs and rubs against me while I sit on the stairs and scratch his chin. He is true blue and I know how much he loves me.

Willy has been starting to show signs of his age and his brazen lifestyle. He exhibits a bit of a hitch in his get-along, has trouble jumping up onto things and his hips seem to give him trouble, especially in the morning. A lover of finding small dark quiet places to cram himself into, especially when he is not feeling well, I found him in a kitchen cabinet this morning. As he poured himself out the door, it appeared walking was very difficult. He made it to the water dish, only to hover there as if suffering from a hangover and wondering if he was about to give up last night's binge into the toilet. His eyes were cloudy and he looked to be in pain. No purring. No rubbing against me. I sat on the floor next to him and started to cry, knowing that Willy's time with me was most likely going to be short. I bought him some canned food - a real treat at my house, and plan to spoil him and keep him as comfy as possible for whatever time I have left with him.

It will be incredibly sad to lose this friend who has been so steadfast and true, who has brought me mice, consoled my tears, loved me no matter what. To say I will miss him sounds like such a small piece of it. I will miss him, but my heart feels so full with all he has given to me that I appreciate so much, that it is hard for me to fully express. At the end of his life, I can say many things about Willy, but foremost will be "well done good and faithful servant. May I be as good to others, as you have been to me."

I embrace the change. I have no choice and resisting will lead to more suffering. I embrace the good in the new life in my life and honor the good in the life passing on. Circles and transitions.