Beginnings and Endings

We went to Circle B yesterday. The weather has started to turn autumnal and even though it was a late-in-the-morning decision, it was lovely to get out in the freshness and not worry about heat and such.

This morning is even cooler (as I write) and if anything spells trail-time, it is Florida autmn/winter/spring weather. It’s the time of the year when you are glad you live here.

Anyway, it was a beautiful morning for the walk and they finally opened up the one last section of trail that had been closed for alligator mating season a few months back, so that’s where we headed.

There were too many people there for it to be idyllic but we still had an awesome time. The number of great blue herons was staggering, and we found a couple that had managed to grab a late breakfast (poor fish). But we also saw a gorgeous red breasted hawk and his cousin, the Osprey, sitting on the opposite side of the trail as if they were engaged in some kind of a conversation.

But the highlight had to be seeing the teenie new alligators that couldn’t have been more than nine inches long. Some of them didn’t even seem to have their eyes open yet and they just clung to blades of grass to stop themselves falling into the water.

Apart from the 7 or 8 thousand steps it added to my day, it was good to get back out again. It has been a miserable few months or so and feeling the fresh air, seeing nature happily unaware of my own failings, was a true godsend.

Got some cool pics along the way and some of them are at the end of this blog. Hope you enjoy!

It was later in the day when I stopped and thought about what I had seen and how it played into how I felt. And that is where the “beginnings and endings” thought came from. The beginning of life for those gorgeous babies and the end of life for those poor catfish.

Yes, we too have one beginning and one ending, but the reality is that if we dig a little deeper into our life, we realize we actually have many. Things start and end on a relatively high frequency around us and stages of our lives are no exception.

I’ve done this before, where I look back at my life and see how many versions of myself there have been. I mean, technically you could argue that there are thousands as each day brings new experiences and we adapt to meet them.

But on a real level, I can look back and find six or seven versions of me where I truly am a different person. For each of us there is at least one version of ourselves as the child but unless you are a republican, you probably grew out of that one. For me, I can see moments where life took dramatic seismic shifts and I was a different person after than before. College, Marriage, Children, Career, etc.

I won’t go into mine; it’s bad enough that I know the person I was, without sharing my failings on this platform. But I wanted to take a moment and acknowledge that sometimes this change is voluntary and sometimes forced upon us, so oftentimes were not even in control of how or when we change.

For each beginning in life there is an end. And I have reached such an end these past few months. I haven’t found the next beginning yet but I am looking. At the very end, there is no new beginning and that’s ok.

You see, we spend most of our existence, locked in the middle; somewhere between “once upon a time” and “happily ever after”. So, that is what defines us and where we draw our wins and losses from.

Owning our own failures and even leaning from them, is one of the key mechanisms to finding a new beginning. It is very difficult to move forward into a new passage of our lives until we have drawn something from the last passage. It would be like reading the next chapter of a book and not remembering anything of the chapters before this one.

Even though I used the phrase “happily ever after” above, for most of us, the end comes in the shape of a simple “The End” and the credits start rolling. And that’s ok too. The next stage of our life doesn’t always have to be better than the last. It would be nice if it was, but reality oftentimes takes us away from a happy time and into a sad. How we deal with that transition is our mark of achievement or failure.

I guess what I am trying to say here is quite simple. We shouldn’t be overly affected by a change in life, even when it takes us away from a phase we enjoyed.

Life decays. That is its design and our job is to live with the decay and make the most of it.