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the color of water...

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“I used to wonder why the sea was blue at a distance, green close up & colorless in your hands. A lot of life is like that.” ~ Miriam Pollard

There was a game with paper we used to play as little girls. We called it fortune telling. One of us would take a piece of paper ripped out of a spiral notebook, fold it in a particular way, and ask the other questions, writing the answers down on specific folds… Through an imperfect but trustworthy process, this piece of paper would foretell a life. We knew it was a game, but there was enough magical thinking to believe it might come true… who we would marry, how many kids we would have, where we would live, what we would be… 

Of course none of these dreams look the same when you first experience them… renting, owning a home, a job, the reality of a paycheck, discussions around children, marriage…

I look back now at how many jobs I held just to pay the rent in NYC during those first few years of marriage, and have no idea how I did it. And that first home… nothing like what was promised in that piece of paper, yet somehow more vibrant and thrilling as each year countless daffodils and tulips burst out of the ground in all the places we’d planted them.

There were no spaces on the paper for divorce. No questions of how many people along the way you would love or how many career changes there might be. No option for a life without children. Or how many shifts in identity might occur…

There weren't enough options in that piece of paper. Not enough space to hold all the possibilities that a life can be. All the turns and unexpected shifts in depth and hue. 

And this is the gorgeous part. When you move beyond that age you imagined as a child. Close enough to touch every dream and wise enough to create new ones. A life that can take on any color. One of clarity. 

And yet, it's not age that changes our perception of the color of water... it's distance.

always in motion,


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  • So true… life is full of many colors; always changing. And the older I get the more I understand the beauty of them all… even the sad ones, that allow me to enjoy the beautiful and joyful ones.

    Mary Chapin on
  • Beautifully said. I’m going to be rolling that distance idea around in my brain for awhile, it really struck a chord. IHave ever looked out the window of an airplane flying over the landscape and been amazed at how logically laid out and organized life on the planet appears from up above? Sometimes I wonder if that isn’t the way things appear to us when we decide to come and try our luck on this planet, assuming that is the way things might possibly work. Then we actually get here, and, oh boy, things are a lot more complicated than we expected them to be. Just a thought, but then again, who knows? Thank you for all your wonderful posts :-)

    Lyn Gianni on
  • Yes, it is.
    The farther you get, the more you see.
    Thank you.

    Laura Barnett on
  • Sage words. Thx

    Susan Hammond on

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