LET THE WIND BLOW
Many of my friends find it amusing when I tell them I was a shy child growing up. Being the baby with five older siblings, I might have been coddled somewhat and I found change to be uncomfortable. My two sisters often reminded me it was because I was the youngest and spoiled rotten by both my Dad and Mom. Outside of my family and relatives, the neighborhood kids were about all I had the opportunity to interact with. Granted, we had our church family, but it was always a race to leave church the moment the priest left the alter so my mom could get back home to finish cooking lunch.
Things changed when it was time for me to enter first grade, with no kindergarten experience as a precursor. My parents were very proud of the fact that each of their children attended a catholic parochial school. At this point my two sisters were the only two attending. I vividly remember riding in the back seat of the car between my two sisters thrilled to be a big girl going to school with them. I had no inkling of how my life was about to change. Dad dropped us off in front of the school and dutifully told my sisters to drop me off at the 1st grade classroom. It never occurred to me that I wouldn’t be spending the day with my sisters. They took me into the classroom, introduced me to the teacher and waived to me as they exited the room. (Cue the soundtrack of the movie Jaws.) The waterworks lasted intermittently throughout the day until it was time to go home. Elementary school meant being on my own with teachers and students I had no relationship with.
At six years old, my Dad gave me some sage advice that I’ve carried with me all through my life. He told me, “Everything’s going to be alright. You have to just let the wind blow; before you know it, things will change again.” As often as the wind blows in one direction, you can expect it to change without warning, but it’s still the wind.
Though both of my parents have since passed away, I still carry them with me everywhere I go. When the winds of change blow in and out of my life, I think of my Dad sitting with me as a child. Back then, I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders as I navigated the unknown all by myself. As a grown up, my perception grew along with me. Through time I became a “people” person and have such an appreciation for all the stories and memories everyone carries around with them whether they are an acquaintance of mine or not. In the end, it’s not just about one individual; it’s about ALL of us.
Life is subject to change. Just when it has you going in one direction, surprise! It’s still life, just moving in a different direction. My husband and I count our blessings daily as we settle into retirement in Matagorda. Whether relaxing next to the river or walking down at the beach, we’re content knowing there is someone greater than us directing everything. Life is precious; let the wind blow!
Originally published in the Bay City Tribune on Sunday, February 4, 2018.