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.