19 January 2011

beginnings, endings and the limbo between

Happy belated new year!  I hope your 2011 is off to a fabulous start. :-)

It's been ages, I know.  I've been traveling for over a month, mostly with no internet access-- but the main thing is my really sweet mother-in-law passed away in December.

People always say nice things about those who've passed away, but she really was one of the nicest people I ever had the pleasure of knowing.  My in-laws are a super tight family, and they are taking care of each other, but it's obviously been tough for everyone.

It was my second time seeing someone die (the first was a student I saw pass away and the reason I started this blog), and it just makes me feel we humans are so fragile.  It is truly a miracle that our bodies do so many things for us flawlessly without even a moment of pause.

It's been interesting to see the "circle of life" making its round.  We have a new nephew who was born a few weeks before his grandmother passed away, and they have the same blue eyes.

Birth, death, beginnings, endings.  As Heraclitus of Ephesus, François de la Rochefoucauld and Darwin (and probably countless others) have said, the only constant in life is change.  And Darwin goes on to say, "It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change."

Boston feels further and further away as we become used to life in California, but we are in that limbo phase of no longer being east coasters and not quite being west coasters yet, either.  When locals ask us where we're from, it feels like we're answering that "home" is Boston.

Our old friends from the dorms have spread literally all over the world, and making new friends takes time.  So, you might think we were lonely or unhappy, but we've been surprised to find that we don't crave an active social life, that just enjoying each other's company has been enough to keep us happy here.  Maybe because we spent our first year of marriage living in a wonderfully social dorm and our second year on the road with just a little backpack each, it feels like we're newlyweds playing house for the first time, and it's been great. 

So, I hope your beginnings, endings and in-betweens will all be good ones, too.  May the changes of 2011 bring us all a little more peace, love and laughter.

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