Sue Monk Kidd tackled midlife transition in her 1990 classic When The Heart Waits: Spiritual Direction for Life’s Sacred Questions. I’m blogging my way through the book. (Click here to read previous installments in this series.) Monk Kidd’s gentle observations have been helpful to many facing their own emotional and spiritual changes at this life stage.
Chapter 5 is entitled “Letting Go”*. She notes most of us enter transition with a good measure of ambivalence, citing the process of metamorphosis as an illustration:
…Caterpillars don’t yield themselves to the cocoon at the same rate. When the moment to spin the chrysalis arrives, some of them actually resist and cling to their larval life. They put off entering the cocoon until the following spring, postponing their transformation a year or more. This state of clinging has a name. It’s called the ‘diapause.’
I have a grandson who will be twelve next month. One moment, he’s still a young boy. The next, he’s a teen. The cycling betwixt the two (remember how bewildering it was to enter adolescence?) reminds me very much of what it is like to enter midlife. [Read more]