Of course the frontier between one life and the next exists in each person's individual perception, if that frontier even exists at all; it could be that there are people - maybe even most people for all I know - whose lives seem to be woven of whole cloth, who have no sense of moving from life to life within the span of their lifetime.
But as for me, I feel that I have crossed a number of new-life frontiers in the six-plus decades I've been kicking around the planet, each subsequent life full of new experiences, unanticipated outcomes and quite amazing, sometimes astonishing, discoveries.
Meanwhile in my own life I went about my daily routine such as it was, teaching piano, plowing my way through a novel I hoped to someday finish,
But it turned out that I wasn't yet.
In 2013 Tom and I walked the 500-mile Camino de Santiago de Compostela through Spain (see www.tightenyourboots.net and www.andlightenyourpack.com).
But now that I was back from Spain I wondered what there could be for me to blog about. It was one of my readers who solved my dilemma when she told me, "Just share your observations on daily life."
And so I decided to do that, and on December 20, 2013, my blog "Ailantha" was born,
Ailanthus Altissima, called either Tree of Heaven or Slum Palm, is a tree that thrives in places where no respectable plant would grow: in vacant lots, between the broken glass in alleys, up through rubble and cracks in the sidewalk. It is widely considered an urban blight, an ugly invasive eye sore, and because of its tenacity, campaigns to rip it from the face of the planet are ongoing and expensive.
But there are others out there who praise the Ailanthus for standing up to the asphalt and concrete and bringing a bit of welcome shade and greenery, a little oasis for passersby. So what is Ailanthus? Occasional oasis or tenacious blight? And which will its spin-off Ailantha be?
And so, in my sixth decade of life, I crossed over yet another border into another new life as I began writing everyday and posting my observations as a traveler just visiting this planet and reporting various and sundry observations, hopefully of interest to my fellow travelers.
But no. I have just stepped over the border into yet another new life, one I've head tell of so often from others of my generation that I marvel that my own entrance into it is turning out to be for me such a prodigiously unheralded experience.
And yet it is, as I now understand it must be for everyone who steps into this new life.
It's a whole new life.