I was asked to close my eyes and imagine who I wanted to be when I’m old woman.
Today as I face the end of a relationship, I also know I am at the beginning of another chapter in my life that might reflect that image.
I pictured myself living alone, and very content. A small cottage surrounded by trees and a garden and nature. I have many friends and am never lonely. They come to see me not just because they are looking for advice from a wise old woman, but because they enjoy my company.
I drink tea, brandy, well water and wine. I’m bent over by age and aches and pains, but still find joy in working. I have fresh flowers on my table at all times.
My cottage has two levels and the bedroom is upstairs. I climb up those stairs every night to rest, and realize this is what keeps my mind and body healthy: Rest; time for reflection; Time to rejuvenate my soul so I have more love to share with others.
My downstairs living area has walls that are filled with books and family photos. A comfortable but small couch, a chair for me, and a small table in between that offers fresh fruit and a place to prop your heels. Slightly dusty curtain sheers ruffle gently in the breeze, bringing the sweet smell of earth inside. If I didn’t love being outdoors in the garden so much, I’d never leave.
I’m not an old woman yet – in fact I have a long way to go – and I have much living and learning to do before my vision of being an old woman in a cottage surrounded by friends, and the smells and bounties of nature becomes real. There might even be another relationship in my future.
In the meantime, I’m ready to leave so many confusing decades behind and begin realizing who I am, and the gifts I’ve been given that God wants me to share. I still struggle to avoid feeling the pain of heartbreak, but I know now that the greatest feeling of peace is born of sorrow. I don’t know why. I just know. And I no longer feel the need to question.
So, here’s to every woman who has lived long enough to dream, to fulfill her destiny, and hold more love and life in her heart than any young woman on Earth. But don’t worry young women; you will have your opportunity. Love and life demands it.