For the first time in nearly two years Vickie and I are away from Sanibel and in San Francisco visiting our older two children and their families.
Soon, we shall travel to Connecticut to reconnect meaningfully with our youngest and his growing clan. What a blessing it is to feel safe to travel and be with those we love!
Recently, after a delicious vegan Chinese meal from one of San Francisco’s many wonderful Szechuan restaurants, I opened my fortune cookie and read: “Success is not a destination. It is making the journey.”
Such wisdom from a fortune cookie!
The cookie’s message reminded me of one of my favorite prayers written by, serendipitously, the late San Francisco Rabbi Alvin Fine, who – also serendipitously – was Vickie’s rabbi as she grew up.
Rabbi Fine wrote:
Birth is a beginning
And death a destination
And life is a journey
From childhood to maturity
And youth to age…
From defeat to defeat to defeat
Until we see that victory lies not
At some high point along the way
But in having made the journey…
How quickly the time has gone by!
While I hope I have made the journey “from childhood to maturity” there is no question I have made the journey from “youth to age.” I must also acknowledge that at 75 I am closer to my “destination” than to my journey’s “beginning.” How did it happen so fast?
Wasn’t it yesterday that our children were babies crawling around on the floor? Now our three are full-blown adults and have made Vickie and me grandparents eight times with a ninth on the way.
As I watch them play and interact with one another, I count my blessings and replay in my mind a flood of scenes from my past. I recall things I thought about and did when I was their different ages.
Without question, my life has had it share of “high points along the way” as well as its share of “defeats.” But thankfully, my journey continues.
In that regard Sanibel has been a source of untold inspiration. Every day I see and marvel at people much older than I, who continue to live their lives with purpose and meaning. They are learning new things cultivating new hobbies and pursuing ones that have been meaningful for them over the years with great vigor and enthusiasm.
As I continue my journey, I pray to move – and I pray that all of us can move — in Rabbi Fine’s words:
From offence to forgiveness
From loneliness to love
From joy go gratitude
From pain to compassion
From grief to understanding
From fear to faith.