Impermanence..along with suffering and ego, are said to be the three truths of our existence. And although I often pay lip service to the understanding that the only constant in life is change, living this reality has never been easy.
I’m in the process of sending my second child off to college. After experiencing this difficulty once before, I thought this time might be a bit easier. But as the graduation looms, and the celebrations are arranged, I find myself, once again, caught in the grips of suffering.
For many years now, my son and his many friends have tracked mud, garbage, and other questionable items into my house. They have awakened my sleep, disrupted my peace, and consumed large quantities of my food, patience, and time. My home has been the gathering place for dozens of these kids, their parties, and activities- sanctioned and otherwise. Yet in spite of all of this, I am faced with overwhelming sadness that they will be leaving me as they begin life on their own.
My son is practical and strong. Aside from being a natural leader and scholar, he is gracious and kind. I am immensely proud of his accomplishments and know the future holds fine things for him. His friends, my many other boys, have bright futures as well. I hope to be strong through the coming weeks as I share their joy and relief.
I know this is part of the sacredness of life. I have prepared many years for this. Each right of passage and birthday celebration honors the process that has brought us to this place. But it is the fear of their absence and the anticipated silencing of their laughter that weakens my resolve right now. And as they scatter about the world in their journey to become adults, they will leave behind only the memories of the brief moment in time that I shared with them.
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