In the end, the journey was as long as it needed to be.
It sounds like one of those poignant closing lines from an epic story of love and adventure, the fairy tale kind with twists and turns and hopes of a happy conclusion dashed around every corner, until the narrative rounds that very last bend, the orchestra reaches its final crescendo, the camera zooms in from panorama to close-up and it ‘ends’, just as it should, with a kiss and a ‘happily ever after’.
In reality its hindsight harping at me, teaching me a lesson in patience, after all I did to fight the journey, to try to short-cut it, to try the heck to get off the road I was on. The journey was always going to be that long, hindsight chides, ‘you chose the detour’.
(Hindsight likes to bang on about how I chose the long, hard IVF detour, and worse, how I chose to make a misery of it too – Ok I get it now! Hindsight also likes to remind me that I wouldn’t have the two precious children we now have through adoption had the journey not been so long – I can hardly imagine anything worse.)
We really should ask ourselves everyday ‘what would hindsight say?’
We should be prepared for the lecture and the lesson. We should welcome the gift.
We should jump ahead, beyond the deadline that looms, that thing we fear the most, to see a resolution better than we’d expected, or at least a disaster of much smaller magnitude than we’d imagined. We should jump well ahead, to the end of our lives if we must, to see the full futility of worry, of judgement, of setting so-called priorities that will never be important as we face death.
Perhaps only then will we realise that life is always about the journey.
So what would hindsight say if we bothered to ask?
That few things are worse than we worry they’ll be. That worry is always wasted.
That time is merely a human convention for measuring everlasting (pretty hard to quantify right!). That we waste precious time trying to divide it into days, hours and minutes. Life is best (and always) experienced in moments. And if we must try to measure it, then “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,but by the moments that take our breath away.” (Hillary Cooper)
If you listened, Hindsight would remind you that if the ‘end’ had come any sooner, it would not be the same. You’d have missed a chapter in your life’s story, which may no longer make sense. And that it’s also futile trying to drag out the ‘end’ of something for any longer than it needs to be.
Hindsight would harp about the journey being as difficult (or as easy) as you choose to make it. It would go on about how we always having a choice, in our attitude at least.
Hindsight would gently cradle you in her loving arms, offering the ultimate consolation of her warm embrace – not necessarily a ‘happily ever after’, but a gift even greater – contentment everlasting.
And hindsight would offer you the gift of foresight to live the rest of your life as though the journey never ends, because it doesn’t.
Foresight would enable you to know the truth of that great lesson of acceptance and non-judgement ‘this too will pass’. Foresight would enable you to understand the very nature of change – that everything passes – pain, happiness, sadness and joy – everything except for love and contentment.
Foresight would enable you to realise that it is in fact love that makes life everlasting and contentment that makes love last forever. He’s smart like that.
And you and I would love and love and love as if it will never end.
PS – Hindsight and Foresight (like yin and yang) make a pretty good pair don’t you think.