"Man's youth is a wonderful thing It is full of anguish and magic And he never comes to know it as it is until It has gone from him forever." - Thomas Wolfe - Of Time and the River
I wonder if we waste our youth, always rushing, always looking forward, failing to just sit for a while and enjoy the moment. Somewhere between childhood and midlife the practicalities of life impose themselves far too often on how we live.
The innocence of childhood is replaced by the arrogance and confidence of young adulthood and then the uncertainty of midlife. Is this something that happens to everyone? I would have to say that most of the people I know who are in that midlife age range have not shown any outward signs of the confusion that seems to characterise this period. So is it actually common but something people are able to keep hidden or is it something that is comparatively rare?
"And in the passage from the cradle to the grave We are born madly dancing. Rushing headlong through the crashing of the days We run on and on without a backward glance" - Dan Fogelberg, In the Passage, 1981
The thing I can't answer yet is how long the phase lasts, nor do I know what lies at the other end. All I can say is that the only definite is change. And I can only hope that the changes will one day reveal themselves to have been positive. So if the life journey can be the metaphor of a journey down a river, where am I now? I feel that I am out of the rapids, that I have found a quiet backwater where I have the luxury of time to reflect, to sort through the crap and baggage before I have to paddle back out to the mainstream.