Menopause is a Second Spring ~ so says Traditional Chinese Medicine. This is beautiful, but doesn’t capture the uniqueness of the menopausal energy shift – whatever it is, it’s happening to me for the first time, that’s for sure. In our own culture, I have heard it referred to as ‘post-menopausal vigour.’ That does not appeal to me. It sounds clinical. It sounds perky. And it doesn’t really describe my experience.
It’s early Spring here where I live, in the temperate rainforest. There are quite a few wild plums at the back of our property, and for weeks I have been watching them slowly opening to the world ~ a slow ecstasy of delicate white. Winter is terribly drab here, with low light and lots of mud. I usually succumb to depression and fatigue, and the slow awakening of the wild plums mirrors my own awakening from my winter fog.
And this year, I see another layer of meaning too.
I am watching the trees blossom and feeling a slow blooming in myself of a new woman, after a few years that felt bare and barren. It doesn’t feel like “vigour” or even a second spring ~ although there may be something about sap rising… It feels like a new kind of passion, a new way of experiencing the world. I am feeling my way along slowly, learning the new channels along which my energy runs now, feeling the slower but more powerful way my energy moves now.
I was talking with a dear friend recently, she too is just going through menopause. We have both recently had a lot of success in our careers, and are enjoying our work and enjoying the respect that can come at this stage of life. And we were reminiscing about the successes of our thirties ~ how powerfully and quickly our passions moved through us then, how exciting and beautiful that was. And how we don’t miss it. We are enjoying our slow power, our sense of calm, our ability to see the big picture, our equanimity.
The thing is, in our society that values fast and hard, calm and equanimity don’t sound very sexy. They don’t really sound like something to look forward to. But they are. They are sexy. Watching the wild plums shows me this. It takes a few weeks for those blossoms to open fully to the low late winter sun. And they open with such deep passion. Such grace and trust, such delicacy and power. Slowly. Not explosively. So, so beautifully.