You can’t use up creativity. The more you use the more you have. Maya Angelou
You were, are, and are becoming an unfolding and unending story!
It was an uplifting moment, reading the excerpt from my 2015 We’Moon calendar aloud to my husband Cam on New Year’s Eve. In Chinese Astrology, we both were born under the sign of the sheep and it is our turn again in this twelve year cycle to be highlighted in 2015: the Year of the Sheep. It all sounded good to me, a year that values intimacy, family, close friendships, a year for all of us, no matter what our sign, to develop our wild hearts and to express our creative sides with gusto, a year for art, creativity and cultivation of beauty to take center stage. How can my artistic juices not bubble up into a fountain of happiness when I read such words?!? But it was the part of the essay speaking directly to us sheep people that had me jumping up and down with glee while at the same time heaving a great sigh of release. “The best part of a sheep’s life is when she is an elder.”
While visiting our two sons, their wives, our two-and-a-half-year-old grandson Viren in Idaho over the Christmas holiday, our youngest son mentioned to me that he was no longer a spring chicken. And if he, at age thirty-two, is thinking of himself as something older than a spring chicken, I wonder “in Chicken Terms” what does that make me, his mother, who is rounding the corner to age fifty-nine in a week? Actually, I don’t want to go there — to the chicken place, that is, to the old non-laying hen place. In my deepest core, I believe that energy is ageless, that when we allow it to stream through us freely, when we, as instructed to do during the Year of the Sheep, express our creative sides wildly, we exude radiance and we feel vibrant, happy and, yes, ageless. I believe this. And yet, I admit that my mind does creep into the chicken place sometimes, into the coop with the old hens, the wrinkled flock in the non-laying back alley coop, and I feel a flash of fear. Those old gals are never going to be on the cover of the chicken’s version of Glamour Magazine again, never going to attract the young roosters or lay the prized eggs. It’s chicken AARP and a nursing home coop for them.
I don’t stay there for long, in the chicken pen with the dear old gals. It’s not hard to coax my mind back into my vibrant creative life. And yet, I welcome the words in my We’Moon essay, that the best part of a sheep’s life is when she is an elder. Hallelujah! What if it can be that way for all of us? What if the best part of our lives, no matter what our age, is yet to come? What if there are new feel-great possibilities opening up for us ALWAYS, whether we’re in the bloom of our youth or in the sweetness of our later old hen and rooster years? What if we really believe this?
On the snowy Saturday after Christmas, my son, daughter-in-law, and I drove my husband to the airport in Spokane, Washington for his return flight to Michigan. Although an hour-and-a-half away from Moscow, Idaho, Spokane seems to have the best flight schedules for us on these frequent trips out west to visit our kids and I’ve come to enjoy the few hours I spend downtown each time I travel to Idaho. In fact, it has become my ritual to shop at the Spokane Lululemon yoga store across from the Main Street Mall and then to walk the four or five blocks along Main Street to Boots, a coffee shop with the most incredible vegan food. This particular Saturday, I was feeling quite Spokane-savvy as I directed my son, who has only been downtown once, to what I considered a great place for him to park by my wonderful coffee-house find. Still feeling as though I was the one who knew the city best an hour later, I was a bit surprised when our son suggested that we walk along the river before dropping his dad off at the airport. The river? I knew that Spokane had grown up along the banks of a wide river and I knew that there was green space along these banks, somewhere — out of town, I thought. I had no clue, in all of these stopovers in Spokane, in the one-hundred degree heat of last summer and in the glory of full-color fall, on days when I would have welcomed a walk and a river and a waterfall, that this was all less than a block away from that Lululemon that I so frequently had visited. I was flummoxed as we stood there on this Saturday above not one, but two powerful waterfalls, as we traipsed in the snow along a path that traces the whole length of the city and beyond. How could I have missed this treasure? What else lies hidden to us behind a downtown mall or behind some other blinder? My Spokane stopovers will be richer now that this treasure has risen into my awareness.
That’s what I’m going for as I open to my birthday this next week, as I welcome this new year. I’m going for the steady stream — a river even — of treasures just waiting for me to discover them. And who says the stream has to run slower as we boldly go forth into our elder years? There was power in those falls, momentum plunging itself forward, and I felt it that afternoon in Spokane. I’m going for that momentum, not cooping myself up, but instead, as suggested in this We’Moon excerpt, expressing my creative side wildly, taking the words to heart, right into my wild heart, that the best is yet to come.