what’s essential

L E T  G O

Recently, as I floated along the river on a perfect summer day with my love and my friend  I watched hawks soaring above me, perfect trees being perfectly trees,  gently carried by the clear water I watched salmon swim upstream,  I thought about how – as we get older or maybe a little wiser, what is not essential to us falls away, worn away by time. This has really happened to me in the last few years so much, of course having children is a big part of that. Still, I think its an unavoidable consequence of living and walking the path that is ours to navigate.

I thought of my grandfather Peter Bartlett who lived an extraordinary life , with the kind of adventures books and films are made about- he passed away not so long ago at the age of 95. In his last few years life was simplified right down to its purest aspects, the most important things to him – reading, writing, watching the natural life around him, taking walks, having wonderful conversations and debates with those he knew and loved. Until it became only about eating, sleeping, watching and with only the inclination to speak if something worthwhile would be said  and then at the very end all that was left was breathing, until that too was no longer essential.

Things fall away like relationships that no longer fit, priorities adjust and pursuits devised by a younger more inexperienced self, change. Like the seasons we keep renewing and cycles keep completing like the salmon who return to their place of birth- though it is a battle to get there -to lay their eggs and to die.

What remains is what we hold or find to be dearest, essential to our core being and truest self.  That self it takes a lifetime to know or as my buddy Ricey would suggest many lifetimes..