Clear sky - a sunrise without texture, but noble nonetheless.
One of the things that goes along with mid-life, menopause, and emptying nests, is aging parents. I consider myself among the fortunate, right now, since both of my parents are alive and well. We've had our scares. Enough to make us realize how quickly things can go wrong.
I reconnected with a friend from long ago last month when I learned that he had lost his father. "How are your parents?" was one of the first things he asked me. It's a relevant question. This week the father of a friend of mine passed away. Another went to Florida to talk to an aging mother-in-law about moving into assisted living. And another is in a strange period of waiting - her father is in hospice care, and family members come and go from out of town to say good-bye.
The transition from being guided by our parents to caring for them is a rocky one. It can be enormously challenging emotionally, financially, and logistically - and there's no clear cut boundary. You may still turn to them emotionally at the same time that they need you physically or financially -- or vice versa. It is an evolution of a parent-child relationship that we're often maneuvering at the same time that we're figuring out how to cope with our changing relationships with our own teenagers and young adults.
While the sun is rising in one place, it is always setting for someone else. Sometimes you feel that both things are happening simultaneously, everywhere, all the time.
Then there are complex sibling interplays to sort out as well. One good friend of mine was very matter of fact about one aspect of being an only child. "It was easy for me. There was no question about who was going to take care of my parents, because I'm all they have," he said. His father and mother-in-law have moved nearby and are a part of daily life for him, his wife and two children.
Everyone has their own story, but has to struggle to be their own writer and figure out how it will all unfold.
The ice is almost gone - and it happened in a day. It will be fun to play with a new palette of light and reflections...
And I'll also have to see if I can train Clara not to chase the ducks. This morning, the very first day the ice was out, there was a pair of mallards on the pond. They nest here every year and we hope that the neighborhood predators will spare a few of their babies. I just want to make sure Clara doesn't become a predator, but judging from her beeline charge around the pond this morning, I have my work cut out for me. Here she is just after spotting them, but I missed getting the ducks on film today --