Life can be defined by the word “bittersweet.” But nobody orders like that. “I’ll have the Merlot but only if it’s bittersweet - a good vintage.”
Still, it suits our life experience in so many ways. A child leaves home for the first time to go to school. What better word describes it?
On the one hand, a parent’s job well-done. On another, the reality that life is changing, that this particular chapter is closing.
So many an occasion in life when bitter-sweet colors the feelings around important but ordinary events.
Our teenager graduating from high school. The last child to leave home. The long-anticipated retirement that requires leaving friends, familiarity, a sense of place.
Maybe the final goodbye of seeing an old friend or family member who’s time is short. The closing of the door.
“Bitter” maybe isn’t the exact word. Maybe we need to soften it a little but it is what we have at hand. And so, therefore, it suits us.
It suggests life is rarely one thing or another. For every gift we receive, there is loss as well.
On this longest day of the year, I am so grateful for the lengthened days, for the sun dwelling in the sky so much longer. For the wake-up at 4:30 a.m. knowing I can just roll over and go back to bed for a few more precious hours.
I love the sun’s lazy approach to evening. And I know that, even past this watershed moment of June 21, that it will be as much as a month before I will notice the hastening power of darkness.
Still, as much as I rejoice in the full blush of summer (with wildflowers successively displaying their colors), I am also aware another year has come-and-gone. The full crescendo of spring into summer is past.
I love May and early June for this reason.
While I may regret this (as with so many other things), I also remind myself I do not want to miss this moment. It is, after all, the Peak Moment of Celebration that has been leading me forward for all these months.
Bitter-Sweet (if you round off the edges) is what it is. I love the Advance and yet, have regrets about the Retreat. I enjoy the moment for what it is but also know there has been a shift, a change.
I wish for more, but know that time and life is limited. I see with the lupine still green that there is Promise. But life tumbles forward in its march, leaving other things behind.
I learned of the sudden passing of an old friend and colleague. I have so many fond memories I haven’t had for a long time. Memories replayed, flitting back and forth, contesting with my grief. As much as I am grateful, I feel something has been stolen from me.