Nothing ever stays the same. Today is the 15th anniversary of the day we moved into our home. While we have made changes almost everyday we've been here, those changes were slow and small and most of them only noticeable when I look back. I didn't realise the importance of many of our changes until they had been completed and then, with the benefit of hindsight, I could see them in context and knew how profound they had been.
The one constant of all those changes has been growing older - ageing. I was 49 when we arrived here, 15 years later, I'm about to turn 65. That seems like a really big change to me although 33 to 48 doesn't. My guess is that this change has slowed me down, brought me into a different season and made me a grandma, and that is important to me. I felt that change as it was happening. When I looked into Jamie and Alex's eyes for the first time, I changed. I knew it straight away. I love being a grandma, I even love the name grandma and granny. It's sweet and tender and sounds like what it is. Being a grandma was a familiar change. It's similar to being a parent again, but you don't have the same input and direct, immediate influence you have with your own children. This time around my influence is in being who I am, revealing my character, living to my values and just being there with the love; always with the love.
Fiona and Mary sharing a room.
One of the changes that comes with age is that your body starts wearing out and things happen that you have no control over. It's nothing drastic yet but when I was younger I used to believe I had control over myself (and a whole lot of other things). Now I know that I just had a body that didn't let me down and get sick. Yesterday I had a bleed into my eye. It happened out of the blue filling half my eye with bright red blood. Hanno noticed it when we were having morning tea and sitting opposite each other at the back verandah table. It's nothing to be alarmed about apparently and it will just disappear in a couple of weeks time. I'm pretty healthy, my blood pressure and cholesterol are always normal, I don't take medication for anything but I feel weak when things like that happen to me. I don't like feeling weak.
Christmas eye! I've added red to my green eyes.
Another change I've noticed, and if you're been reading here for a long time, you may have noticed it too. In the early years here, many readers used to tell me they didn't dare give handmade gifts because they'd be laughed at or insulted. Many said they'd go into debt at Christmas time to pay for gifts that were expected rather than given freely. That has started changing, if the comments on yesterday's post are any gauge. I'm absolutely sure there are many who still do stretch their credit cards over Christmas, but there are fewer, it seems. That is a good thing - another change that happens gradually and that you only really notice when looking back.
I was outside gathering herbs yesterday and noticed that our strawberries are still producing small fruit. We'll won't eat them, but the birds will. Over the months, those strawberries have changed. They're not the same as those we grew in winter - sweet, succulent and delicious. I ate many of them straight from the plant then, gobbled down while the birds looked on in horror. Now, the strawberries are small and mean and hold no interest for me. They've changed too much.
And that's the lesson for today, for me at least, that every season has its highs and lows. It might be sweet, juicy, organic strawberries or a bleed into the eye. It's all there, the good and the bad, as we travel through the years. The trick is to accept it all with grace and to live like there are fewer tomorrows.