Yesterday I woke up crying, and realized I hadn’t cried in years. Was this some great stored up sadness, or the advent of depression? Or some specific hurt or trauma I had experienced and put from my conscious mind, only to have it bubble up again as I slept? I probed around my mind as if a tooth, or some important part of me had fallen out in the night.
Could come up with no greater revelation than this: For years I had lived my life as if listening to an inner voice—one foot in front of the other, do this first, then that. Now it felt as if the voice had gone and I was bereft.
Lonely, on my own. Someone was missing, or maybe something. I thought of the potted orange tree on my patio that seemed to suddenly be languishing, no matter what I fed it. And the rose bush standing gnarled and cranky in the sole square foot of earth I had been assigned. I empathized with both of these efforts of Nature, symbols of something needing my care and attention. Neither seemed to be doing well.
Could I be crying about this? Perhaps. Did they then represent my life’s efforts, trusting that I could grow anything by sheer effort of will?
Then I remembered something the nursery man told me over twenty years ago when I bought the orange tree, then a spindly wand in a 10-gallon pot.
“You’ll get some years out of it” he said. “But then . . .” I’d forgotten that “But then,” something we all tend to do when confronted with bad news. If you’re a natural optimist, you tend to forget things you don’t want to carry with you through life.
Some things are just extra luggage we jettison as not worth the weight. That’s how we survive. And that’s the best way of living our lives I believe. Carpe diem, seize the day. Read yourself into a better state–my recipe for all ills. Find a good book that lifts you, engages your emotions, feeds your mind. Take two aspirin, it’ll be all right in the morning.