Empty

imagesLess than 48 hours ago my husband and I said good-bye to our youngest daughter on a bustling street on the campus of Brown University in Rhode Island.  We hugged and kissed, shed a tear or two and headed west.  Watching her in my rear view mirror I saw her skip away in search of her  freshman friend.

And, just like that, my nest emptied.

Nothing could have prepared me for that moment.  Of course I knew that it was coming.  Over the summer I had tried to picture my husband and I having dinners alone.  I thought about the quiet that would pervade the house.  However, I purposefully tried not to talk about it with others or to search the web about how the empty nest might feel.

You see, I want to experience this shift my way. I don’t want advice nor do I want to know when this feeling of rawness and newness  will pass.

I want to feel empty.

Right now I don’t want to fill my schedule with a new hobby or sign up for a new on-line course.  I don’t want to work more or socialize more.

I want to feel empty.

The Buddhists teach us that emptiness is the gateway to discovering everything.  In experiencing nothingness I may just become intimate with the immensity of my existence.  In nothing I may just experience everything.

I have been given a tremendous gift this week but it won’t necessarily last. As I sit in this tender transition, my life as I knew it has ended, my role as mother is redefined and my new relationship with life has yet to reveal itself.

I feel empty.  I feel nothing. I feel everything.

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