Becoming An Elder

Leaving behind my journey of struggling and racing through

the white water of many rivers, I become the river,

creating my own unique way.

Leaving behind my self-imposed role as a tree upon

which others have leaned, I now become the wind,

with the freedom to blow whenever and wherever I choose.

Leaving behind the boxes I’ve created in my life, crammed with

roles, responsibilities, rules and fears,

I become the wild and unpredictable space

within which flowers sprout and grow.

Leaving behind the years of yearning for others

to see me as somebody,

I soften into becoming my future,

with permission from SELF to

continually unfold as I choose, without concern

for how others may see me.

Leaving behind years of telling and teaching,

I become instead a mirror

into which others can peer and

view reflections of themselves to consider.

Leaving behind the urge to provide answers for others,

I become – in the silence of this forest retreat

– the question.

Leaving behind the rigor of my intellect,

I become a single candle in the

darkness, offering myself as a beacon for others

to create their own path.

I become an elder ✨

~ Cathy Carmody, August, 2012


This poem was written at a ‘Choosing Conscious Elderhood Retreat’ at the Sea to Sky Retreat Centre, British Columbia, Canada in August 2012. This retreat was offered by The Center For Conscious Eldering.

Cathy Carmody died in 2017; her WordPress website, https://cathycarmody.wordpress.com/ , continues to be a source of inspiration.  She gave permission for others to share her poem as long as she is credited as author.

2 Comments on “Becoming An Elder

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