When faced with substantial change, there is often a desire to move, sometimes to run away from the change. But some choose a deeper journey, having elements of both inward and outward growth.
Magical Journey: An Apprenticeship in Contentment by Katrina Kenison begins with several big shocks - the death of a close friend, the departure of one son to college and the late adolescent struggles of another son. Kenison, an admitted homebody, is faced with a much emptier home, much sooner than she anticipated. As she faces these challenges of midlife, she explores yoga and reiki, but also turns her energies outward. She organizes her friends and community in memory of her departed friend and also reconnects with her college classmates. I enjoyed her revisiting of the many places, people and experiences that created the person she is today, and her reflections on the future.
In Traveling with Pomegranates: A Mother-daughter Story by Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor, outward journeys reflect the inner transformation. Kidd and Taylor travel together to locations focusing on the eternal feminine, seeking out iconography of the Virgin Mary, Athena, and, perhaps unsurprisingly in a mother-daughter memoir, the story of Demeter and Persephone. Along the way, both mother and daughter express their concerns about being ready for the changes ahead, whether graduate school and marriage, or new careers, health changes, and ultimately, mortality. This book covers the time that Sue Monk Kidd was writing The Secret Life of Bees, another story containing both external and internal journeys.
To my mind, summer is often a time for reassessment, reflection, perhaps some travel, or maybe just a few days of leisure to try a new hobby or pick up a new idea from a book, magazine or blog. Hopefully, there's a chance to realign ourselves with our expectations of ourselves. In these waning days of summer, consider an inward or outward journey of your own.
Kirsten @ Villard Square