The Circle of Life

Last month my daughter flew the nest towards her desired college, leaving me unsettled and moping at first. I had been dreading this moment and she knew this. Her name for me in this pre daughter-going -away stage was “Lil Min Waterworks” which I bore with an apparent insouciance. As the days grew closer, every little thing she did or said left me with a wistful expression, causing hoots of laughter from my children -“look mom ! Dad’s crying,” was their constant refrain, much to their amusement.

She finally left on the 15th August and the whole family accompanied her to her new college. It was exciting for all of us and the 3 days of induction swept by in a happy swirl of fun and activity. The house seemed unusually quiet when we returned, but Life soon resumed at its frenzied pace once again.

I had two choices, either mope around and get stuck in a sentimental rut of emotion and past memories. Or wish my daughter well and pray for her to be strong – mentally, physically and spiritually as she embarked on this new and exciting phase of her life. I chose the latter approach and am glad it is  serving me well.

The ebb and flow of Life does not cease if you resist it. On the contrary, it will still flow unceasingly and in resisting it you only cause misery to yourself. Rather, let events unfold around you while you remain centred in yourself. Events by themselves have little meaning – their meaning gets coloured by our likes, dislikes and perceptions. In letting go of my daughter -both physically and mentally – I find myself in a calm space. Yes, I still miss her tremendously but my emotions are now tempered with a calm acceptance of the situation which helps me to move forward with my Life.

Life is meant to be lived, joyously at each stage, happy and grateful to have received her bounty and with an acquiescence of both the good and the painful, the perfect and the flawed. The memories of my leaving home to explore the world come rushing back to me, along with my father’s struggle to accept my resolve to spread my wings. The key to a peaceful existence, I realise, is detachment. 

A quiet realisation now dawns, life has indeed turned full circle for me. I now appreciate better both the trials and the triumph of raising children.

The full import of Kahlil Gibran’s profound declaration seeps into my consciousness “Your children are not your children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not from you, and though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.”

One thought on “The Circle of Life

  1. Hi Yezdi,

    From a father to a father, there is no balm that soothes the empty nest syndrome for a father, especially for his daughter. As fathers, subconsciously connect more deeply with their daughters, obliviously their beings are compensating for their shallow chauvinism and alpha male syndromes that we men develop as we grow up being constantly socially conditioned with the myths of permanence and ownership. “They Belong to me” is the sugar-quoted (pun created) delirium pill that drives us down this slow-euthanasia path.

    Men are taught to be owners and carriers of pedigree from their childhood. Whereas, women are conditioned to believe that their existence is transient as they will help blossom a different home once their legal ownership is transferred at marriage.

    Gibran’s words helped you recognize the expansion of truth in your consciousness, over the social veil of belonging and ownership. We men would be far better companions and mentors if we were parents and spouses without the pre-requisition of ownership over our spouses or kids.

    The moment the ownership fog lifts, the now clear lens shifts our focus to our subjects, we now explore what the subject wants and why. From earlier imposing our rationale, virtues or opinions upon them to now All relationships would turn to harmonious co-existence where the focus would be enrichment and not compliance which is the current root of all relationship issues.

    On the full circle, nature is only grooming us with kids, but we go full circle when our kids go through empty nest with us, and their kids start to blossom and flex their wings of consciousness. Because then you see your evolving past in your kids as they react to the cracking of the ownership myth, just like you experienced earlier with your kids.

    “Attachment gets you back in the ring, while detachment gets you out of the game itself.” Shiva!

    The simple ways of nature, it shows you that even your own body is not yours to own, it is all provided to you to use and experience your journey. So, if you do not even own the projection of yourself, and will merge into dust where you came from, believing we own others is all but a sign that you have been floating in an illusion, and it is time to appropriate your perspective to return to the truth from the illusion.

    They are our children, who chose us as mentors and companions through the initial phase of their lives, not owners or wardens.

    Insouciance and wistful are words who seem to have coaxed you to dust them out of the broom closet after aeons.

    Be happy…..always,
    Warm ‘n’ fuzzy regards brother
    Shiva!

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