I’ve never really been able to imagine God. I can sort of get behind a version of God that says that He/She/It/They/Zee is a force, like nature, that lives in every one of us, animals too.

In a burning sage kind of a way, that makes sense to me.

The Bible spells it out. The Kingdom of God is within you. I’m pretty sure it’s why you aren’t supposed to kill yourself. Yes, it’s your life to do with as you please but keep your hands off the Kingdom of God!

Also God giveth and God taketh away, so even though God’s inside you, you can’t play God. Got it?

Even though the God thing is elusive, I have no trouble with the idea that aliens are directing my life in some sort of nonchalant, just for kicks, kind of way.

In my imagination, the aliens have all our little worlds contained in pots like terrariums on their living room coffee table,  or maybe they just have portholes where they can see what we’re up to here on earth. Either way, every now and then they give everything a good shake just to make it all interesting. Sometimes they shake up the entire earth. Sometimes they mess with just a section of the planet. And occasionally they go in deep and play around with individuals.

I probably don’t need to tell you that this idea came to me when I accidentally ate a brownie one of my kids left on the kitchen table years ago.  It’s a good thing I’m perpetually on a diet and holding back, because I only had one little bite and I still saw aliens.

If I’d let go an eaten the whole thing I might have – well I might have seen God.

This is bit of a long introduction but I don’t really know how else to explain the fact that I cried buckets this week. I started on Monday at ten a.m. and didn’t fully dry up until 7 p.m. yesterday, Thursday.

I’ve gotten pretty good at being a divorced single mom with fledglings that have taken wing.

I have three great kids.

My daughter is one of the most beautiful souls imaginable. She came into this world complete. She has opened my heart to the blessings of this earth because she sees magic in every living being. Even trees. Even fungi.

Her twin brother has wisdom beyond anything  I can describe to you. I trust him always to reveal some truth. Even if it’s a hard truth, he never fails to confront it head on.

And the youngest one is just a delight. We are best friends and we face life together.

So I couldn’t hold back the flood gates this week and it didn’t feel like anything bad was happening.

I just had to cry.

I’m getting older.

I never want to make it a big deal but I’ve struggled to keep going and lately I’ve been climbing a hill and peering over the top and into a valley and the valley is peaceful. But there are clouds, and it’s going to rain.

I know change is a force I can’t fight anymore.

Things are changing.

My parents are getting older and I am too.

For many many years it was the same.

The structure of having parents and kids kept it all in a place that felt secure, like it would always be this way.

Then your parents get older and the kids fly free and suddenly the changes are beyond comprehension.

I thought it was going to go on forever with kids and parents but now everyone is moving up a rung and I am trying to figure out what to do if I’m not raising kids and how it could ever be possible to go on without my parents.

My mother is no help.

One day I was feeling melancholy and I told her that I didn’t know how I would ever be able to go on without her.

She said that if I couldn’t go on it would mean that she hadn’t done a very good job of raising me.

And that was it.

I have to go on with terms and agreements that I never really understood until the day my body started to show signs of aging – of breaking down. Until my kids left. Until my parents approached eighty.3

I know that the only way to handle all this is to just take it day by day.

I want to tell all the young families I see that they are in the sweet spot. Their kids are young and their parents are safe from getting old and it feels like it will be this way forever.

Only it’s brief.

Life shifts and as you get older you have to be really brave and you have to let go of everything that used to feel like a rock in your life.

You just have to.

And that made me cry.

I look at really old people, the ones who are bent over and yet keep walking and I am overcome with admiration.

They tell me to get over myself . They tell me I am still young.

So I hike.

I get busy and feel grateful for all I can do and I try to accept the things that will never be the same. I accept that my body kind of aches and that I no longer move effortlessly.

I have to push a bit.

I don’t know how I’m going to deal with more loss, but it’s coming.

My daughter has reminded me to put my faith in nature and her twin has given me truth as an end goal and my other boy makes music and …. I made these people.

That’s pretty good, and though life is bittersweet and I had to suck it up and get through the week, I’m really happy that I’ve had so much that has moved me to tears.

I think my mother did a good job.

And aliens….just please be kind.