My children are grown. My son will soon be 28 years old. My daughter was a teenager when he was born. (You do the math!) I will soon be at the age when I can retire, if I want. Perhaps more specifically and truthfully, I can retire if I can afford to retire. The big dreams I have not accomplished by now are quite likely never going to happen: write a great American novel - build a self-sustaining homestead off the grid - ride my Harley in every state - make a significant contribution to this wonderful earth (aside from the two great human beings I brought into this world). Sometimes that realization is burdensome, other times I cheer myself up with the fact that apparently I am not a serial killer. I am coming to grips with the fact that my optimum years do not lay before me. So be it.
Maybe this time around, just maybe, one lesson is to simply love what is. Lying awake in the dark, between the two bedroom windows, the constant Kansas winds rise and fall like ocean surf. The only thing to hear is natural, organic - coyotes and tree frogs, owls, thunder. I deeply love the simple pleasure, the comfort, the peace of my life here in the bend of the nameless prairie creek. Maybe, in another lifetime, I already loved this place. Maybe a future self is right now hearkening to a remembered grace and peace of a prairie night in May, and longing for something she cannot even name.