Growing down

I was just noticing my most recent post, about Tarzan growing up, which made me think about our new duckies, who are also growing up. Most of them have obvious feathers sprouting around their tails now, and though they still peep like babies, they are large enough to wander away from each other (and their moms) when foraging.

Everything grows up. We are surrounded by change and development and emerging.

Even I am growing up, though at my age it’s beginning to be “growing down”. The process that naturally proceeds death, if one lives long enough, is all about pulling in and letting go. Body parts we really don’t need any more, like ovaries, shrink to the size of dried peas. (They probably look like them, too.) We “grow shorter” rather than taller. For many of us, our brains drop faculties by the wayside. Things that used to work just fine now need help, from glasses to dietary changes to wheelchairs.

I tend to think of the whole process of a unitary life as one great breath—years of taking in, getting larger, developing, learning … followed by the breathing out of shrinkage and release.

It’s not so bad, really, this making room for the future.

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One thought on “Growing down

  1. I’ve held on to this post to savor for a spell. My mother died in a couple of months ago, and, as you say, the dropping off of parts and faculties, and learning how to let go, are so true to what I observed. Fortunately, we spoke openly and often about death, ongoing love, and acknowledging the unknown. She was ready to go, even looking forward to it, not unlike looking forward to going to bed and to sleep after an arduous workday.

    Thank you for your words.

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