It Was Me All Along, by Susan Austin-Crumpton

I was backpacking alone in Utah, carrying a huge pack on my skinny hips that looked like raw meat.  I felt invincible, capable, with every step validating that there is nothing I can’t do. I loved it! That was many years ago.

In June this year I am returning to those trails in Utah with my husband and grandsons and my book and a sunhat. My body won’t climb like it used to. My heart and lungs will not take the altitude and effort like it used to. This year I will wait and read in a beautiful and wild place for the return of those I love from the trails.

I notice the difference. I grieve the loss. My inadequacy and self-doubt rise to the surface of me. I long for my feelings of conquering everything myself instead of asking for help.

Then something wonderful happens. Feeling the invalidation of change brings into focus a sense of wholeness and acceptance.

My grandsons hold car doors for me and hold my purse. My husband unloads the car and always grabs my hand as we cross the street. Being stuck makes me available to listen and to reflect on noticing the kindness of those that care for me. I let in their smiles and the dance of love in their faces.

Change is always a scary thing for me. Then I remember everything has always been changing all along.  I had nothing to prove all along! I was wrong about finding a me inside myself. I was me all along and I still am.  Learning to receive me is teaching me to receive others.

I feel grace and gratitude for all of life. I am me in an older body. I sorta like it.


Susan Austin-Crumpton
Executive Director & Founder
The Estuary, Inc.