|They only look tiny!|
|me and mine|
|Her and hers|
I catch a glimpse of an old photograph hanging on the wall, a photograph of a beach in North Devon with two tiny figures walking into the distance. There they are, a tiny pair, in the photograph the size of my little finger nail. To me, although tiny, they are unmistakable, there is something so familiar about them, the way they incline towards one another and their coats; his, a lightweight showerproof jacket and hers similar but longer. I think they must have just replaced these over and again because in my memory they always wore coats like this. I have seen this photograph often but this time it creeps up on me and has a new poignancy because although I think that they were old then, I am probably now nearing their age and stage. I find this image arresting and somehow feel closer to who they were, as if our experiences are the same now, the experience of being and becoming and passing on. In the middle part of our lives, we feel as if WE are the real deal, our lives have a substantiality about them which isn’t really true, it is a trick of nature to divert us from any sense of impermanence, to underline our sense of duty to pass on what we think is best for our children. So, we will feed them with the best we can find, send them to the best schools we can find, perhaps take them to our Church or our place of worship, we take them on holiday, we embrace their talents, nurturing their piano or violin playing (if they happen to be musical), washing their rugby, football, tennis clothes, we meet and approve of their friends and generally we hope for the very best for them. We think though that we are the real deal when we are just passing through their lives, wearing our fleeces and crocs, definitely still interested enough to keep them in view but also aware of both our mortality and our immortality. That is the message of the photograph, you, we, I am both mortal and immortal and it is good to meditate on that looking kindly both ways, to our now tiny fingernail sized parents to the growing grandchildren who will follow us.
This post was originally posted on the You can meditate too blog.