At the age of 100, I have watched most of those I once loved pass on from this life. It has been many years of letting go, a feeling of loosening things I once believed were an integral part of who I was. Strangely, this has felt a great and unexpected freedom.
Looking back over so many years, I am grateful I was able to pursue my dream to be a writer. I published my first novel at age 36 and by my early 40s I was earning enough money to continue writing full-time.
I wrote the things of my heart.
I wrote of the things I felt were most important in life.
I wrote stories that came from somewhere beyond myself and became part of myself.
This was both my way of finding wisdom and expressing what I had discovered. Yet when I look back from this distance, I realise that this was only a way through for me. My own path to finding wisdom.
I spent many years struggling to establish my meditation practice, but at some point (it is difficult to remember quite when this happened), I realised that wisdom was the true prize, the thing I truly wanted more than anything. Everything became easy after that.
I was married to a wonderful man and our two beautiful children grew into creative and kind adults who found work that used their unique talents and was helpful to others. In time they found partners to love and created their own versions of family. It was one of my greatest joys and privileges watching this unfolding of life.
Slowly in my aging years, my heart took on the bodhisattva vow – As long as space endures, as long as sentient beings remain, until then, may I too remain and dispel the miseries of the world. Thus, in these later years I have devoted myself to the realisation of this wisdom and compassion.
My favourite times are now spent with my grandchildren and other (younger) friends drinking coffee on the back porch of my house as I listen to the stories of their daily lives. It is my role now to sit in wisdom and listen. To guide by example rather than judgement. To shine a light on the path that will lead to abiding joy. I have had a wonderful life.