Part I : Young Woman and Old Woman

Laura Preiser, MSCM ( Copyright 2020 all rights reserved )

Once upon a time there was a young woman who found herself on a perilous journey that was not of her own design. She had always dreamed of an orderly life that rewarded hard work and good intentions. She expected she would be treated fairly. So she vowed to give her best.

It was then that the Fates put her on the path of ​service. ​ It was going to take years, maybe a lifetime, to see beyond the fear and the chaos that had been placed before her. The odds were stacked, bets were taken.

Her friends were small in number, and her family even smaller. They were busy with their own journeys and could not really be with her. She had to do it on her own.

At first it was so hard. It took years to gain the experience needed to survive. There were steep mountains to climb. There were rivers to cross. There were monsters to fight. And most importantly, there were people who were counting on her.

A few folks took notice. Unexpected teachers showed up, strangers offered a kind word, neighbors came with a pickup truck on moving day. Resources were scarce, and yet there were times help would appear, if only briefly. And of course, the love of those in her care made her strong enough to keep going.

The years went along and she made many mistakes. She went the wrong way. She got lost. She forgot to take care of herself. She let people down. There were moments she even forgot who she was. Sometimes.

Other times she was strong and true. She took good care of herself. She fulfilled her service to others. She learned her lessons. She found joy and meaning in her life. She became a skilled traveler. Those who depended on her were doing well.

Then one day the pace began to slow down. The monsters had become less intimidating, the mountains were not particularly daunting. The ones she needed to protect were now able to find their own way toward their own goals. This, of course, was proper, and the mark of when a protector should take some personal time. She read books, leaned to dance, and generally caught up on what was new in the world, and in her.

Now the woman was much older. She looked back on the years of her life. She said to herself,”I did it!” But she also felt sad that she had not had anyone to turn to when she was younger, and just starting out. Maybe the times she had been completely lost could have been spent a little better. Maybe her journey could have been acknowledged and encouraged. Perhaps a knowledgeable fellow traveler would have been good to know during the hard times.

Still, she felt that life and been good to offer her so much to experience. She looked out at the mountains, and now they seemed beautiful. They called out to her. So, she set out to the familiar places, this time without fear. This time she felt only contentment. She was grateful to have the time to enjoy the view.

Soon a young woman appeared on the path next to her. She looked tired, and a bit lost. She seemed unable to go on. The old woman asked, “Can I help you?” The young woman said, “I am not sure, I was set on this path with no map. I do not know if I can do it.”

The old woman replied: “ Your journey is your own, we can travel in the same direction though. I have been here before. I can walk with you and guide you for part of the way. The path is difficult, but there are places to rest and beautiful vistas to see. I have found that having someone to turn to can make a difference. May I come along?”

And together they took the next step forward.

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