Grace in the Process

Last week I sat on the front porch and watched a lizard extract himself from his old skin. He wiggled with a familiar agitation. Twisting around, he pulled sections of paper-thin skin off his back with his mouth. But in his frenzy, there was rhythm. This was a process—one that he probably knew well by then. It was the most natural thing in the world, this shedding of the old self to make room for the new.

I’m standing at the brink of another year. Most days I just don’t know. I don’t know what it’s going to look like, or how to make it work, or where to put all of the pieces that are the last year in this puzzle of mine.

I’ve been sorting through all the papers from last year to get ready for this one. In all the mess, I found part of a speech I wrote last fall. The assignment was a ceremonial speech, and one of my attempts was a eulogy to the girl I used to be.

Even then, the old was giving way to the new.

I don’t always know how to make sense of all that was then and all that is now. I know that there is a place for the two to meet, but I haven’t found it yet. So I move back and forth, agitated. I try to shake this old skin. I just want it to be over with already, to be new and different and not somewhere in the middle.

Somehow, though, it is in the process that I find grace. It is good and right, this shedding of the old and becoming the new. Perhaps it is, after all, the most natural thing in the world.