I suppose it’s a good thing, in an odd sort of way, that I have lived in as many places as I have. My adult daughter not so long ago corralled me with pen and paper in hand, pressuring me to list all of them. Oh, dear me, that took more fingers than on which I could count. Added up, it seemed to be too many moves for one lifetime, and yet, there they were, all in my one lifetime!

I’m not proud of that, but neither am I apologetic. I imagine, however, that had I a single domicile for most of my adult life, then surely one room, or several most likely, would have been set aside as repository of all the clippings, snippets of paper, extracts of speeches, and all sorts of proverbs and adages that I have accumulated throughout my existence. I remember seeing such a room. 

It was that of an old Jewish professor who taught a class I was taking at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, when he invited students to his home for a seminar. Just like his, my walls would have been plastered with them — probably the doors and jambs as well! But not my refrigerator front — that somehow seems so inappropriate a site.

As it is now, with so many moves and having been relocated so frequently, that collection has been relegated to hidden spots, inside old books, in boxes of keepsakes, up in this large old attic — places where I thought I’d never forget, but always do — all the trappings of an inveterate hoarder of sapient sayings.

It’s an addiction, I suppose, my amassing of memorable expressions. these philosophical aphorisms, which cling to my gray matter like glue. They embody simple truths, or complex thoughts boiled down to understandable concepts in a few words. They are symbols of collected wisdom, guidelines with which to live. I hunger for that. And sometimes, for me, they seem to come along at opportune times.

So, it was no surprise as I was rearranging some books in my little library, that a piece of paper fell to the floor. The clipping was larger than usual, and the lines caught my eyes immediately.

“Here,” it said to me, “here is what you need to read at precisely this time.”

I’d like to share a portion of the words I found there.

It’s time to start again

It’s time to start again. Forget mistakes I’ve made, and wounds inflicted by those who vowed to love me. It’s scary looking back. At all the missed opportunities, the wrong roads, hesitations that should have been decisions, impulses that should have been slept on for months … So much arrogance, so much ignorance, so much ingratitude, so much fury, so much struggling to get somewhere that I could ignore those who loved me … Now it’s time to start again — slowly, cautiously, like a child examining the world for the very first time … It’s time to start again, quietly lovingly, gratefully. With time left over I never knew I had. Time to see and hear. To be grateful, and finally, to love.

With the new year started, I am reminded to reflect on these words. This time they will be tacked to my wall, not hiding it in a book.

The author is listed as “Anon.” Of course, just my luck, I would like to read more of what he has to say.

I am wishing life’s richest blessings to my town, the country, indeed the world, in this new year — quietly, lovingly, gratefully.

Lonni Hoffmann Meyer, NHA, BA, is a Clinton County native, retired from a lifelong gerontology and aging-services career.