Monday, March 7, 2011

The Doors of Change

In Open the Door, author Joyce Rupp uses the image of a door as a symbol of spiritual growth. In one chapter she quotes a poem written by a 12 year old girl named Mary Katherine Lidle. The day after she wrote this poem, Mary was killed in a car accident. Here is the last part of the poem.

Listen to me
Go through those doors with hope
Go through those doors knowing change is the future and you’re part of it
You don’t know what change is; that’s why you’re scared
Change is the sun booming over the horizon
Scattering rays of hope to a new day
Change is a baby lamb meeting the world for the first time
Change is growing from a young child to a young woman
Change is beautiful; you will learn to love it

I wonder if Mary’s spirit knew her life was going to change dramatically the next day. Did she write this poem to leave some comfort for her grieving family? Where did these words come from to be written by a 12 year old girl on the last day of her life?

Doors. Doors closing. Doors opening. Two of my children have made life changing choices in recent months. Choices I would not have made for them. Choices that are changing their lives and my life in some big ways. Change is booming. New opportunities beckon. It is beautiful. I am learning to love it.

I think I must let go. Must fear not, must be quiet so that my children can hear the Sound of Creation and dance the dance that is in them. –Russell Hoban

revised from archives


  1. Galen: You are just learning to love change? If you can respond, what was it that kept you in a rut? I am only asking because I would have thought change was a regular part of your story. I have been evolving for so long that I sometimes miss the fact that not everyone thinks like me. It is a shortcoming, but it is me.

  2. Ah yes that old changing magician "Letting Go" We seem to spend more of our lives letting go than acquiring. Have to accept and love, breath in the changes and see the remarkable view. We are all changing all the time, it is nice when one can witness it.

    I am 60+ years old and my 68 year old brother treats me the same as he did when I was very young, as does my sister - though I have even let go of my children and set them free. At my Aunt's life celebration this past weekend all of my family gathered around the table and shared their life changes, joys and was a blessing and such a great acknowledgment of the power to re-invent the self and still maintain the essence.

    Nice words - Thank you

  3. I find change often pushes me in the direction I should be going, or that the change makes for a better fit...but as much as change comes around, I am also a creature of habit....a habit that doesn't change ever....what an amazing poem for a 12 year old to feel and write, and how tragic that the very next day she is taken....that is just how quickly life can be gone. Nothing is for sure.

  4. JJ--Yes, change is part of my story, but I have not always embraced change, especially change that takes me by surprise. I don't think I was in a rut as much as I was looking forward to where I thought I was headed! Fortunately, I am evolving, too. The steps on my blog are things I have learned from my own path. I have internalized them deeply enough that even in this most recent dramatic change of direction, I am getting back to center with less resistance and distress than I would have experienced in years past.

    Patricia--Thank you for sharing the story of your Aunt's life celebration. I could imagine how comforting it must have been by your description.

    Karen--I, too, find that change is often wiser than I am! Yes, it is a remarkable poem for several reasons.

  5. I like to do it the Kaizen way, that’s a Japanese word for ‘small, little steps’. I make thoughtful changes slowly and consistently in my life, this way I can keep up with the pace whilst I am certain I am heading in the right direction. Often along the way I am required to make changes to the changes, taking a step backwards regularly results in a giant leap forwards!

  6. Beautiful and profound words from a 12 year old. At the heart of it life is sad. But it's sad so that we can know happy. The yin and the yang. The dark and the light. Change is inevitable. And heavens knows I have seen enough of it. Especially in recent years.

    Galen... I so get where you are coming from here. Once a mother always a mother and we shall never entirely let it go.

    But I am thinking recently... nor we should. They are as much a part of our evolution as we are a part of theirs. We can honour that without letting it go.

    And in letting [them] go we get to keep the qualities they have instilled in us. Qualities of compassion, empathy, joy, sadness, loss, persistence, strength and fortitude.

    Parenting is such a surprising two way street... riddled with potholes roadblocks detours and even the occasional cul de sac. But it's a wonderful road to be on. Change of direction is the one inevitable.

    Lovely [timely] post Galen... thank you :-)

  7. My husband needs to read your blog posts. He's the one that needs to find that happy place and stay there.

    But that'll never happen. He reads only things HE picks out.

    Anyway, you wonder how that little 12 yo could be so insightful? Did she know something? It's a beautiful poem. Thank you for sharing!

  8. Wow, these are astounding words for a child of 12. Thank you for the post, it is very enlightening.

  9. Universal Truth--Small little steps...I like that! I'm going to remember that over the next several months. Thank you!

    Jean--Thank you for your reflections. And I appreciate your perspective on parenting.

    ryoko--Maybe you could hide the posts in the sports section! Yes, the poem is a remarkable expression for a 12 year old. Her imminent death makes it so much more poignant.

    darlin--Yes, astounding is the word. I'm glad you liked it.

  10. I clicked over from Ann’s Walking With Him Wednesday link.

    Boy, how does a parent let their kids make choices they know are wrong – it’s just like Our Lord does with us – I imagine it’s painful. And that poem! This was rally good to read today. Thank you.

    May God Bless and Keep you and all of yours this day


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