When I think of lessons learned during decades of living,

my reflections coalesce around dualities and complementarities:

yin and yang, obverse and reverse, warp and woof.

As I navigated the ebb and flow of life,

I wondered why

there is a time to lead and a time to follow,

a time to speak up and a time to be silent.

Perhaps the tension is resolved by realizing

To live is to embrace contradiction,

to transcend logic-locked polarities.

Teaching is learning

from the questions of those “taught.”

Believing is doubting

that this is all there is.

Laughing is weeping

at the absurdity of life.

Forgiving is remembering

our own imperfections.

Failing is succeeding

at recognizing new opportunities.

Hoping is stumbling with every tentative step,

yet trusting steadfastly in the next.

Nurturing is letting go,

encouraging independence.

Accepting is rejecting

intolerance that crushes understanding.

Loving is appreciating

that distance and mystery are inevitable.

Mourning is celebrating

a life well-lived.

Dying is living on

In the hearts of those whose lives we touched.