I am the exact opposite of my 8-year-old reproductive self. Just before the visible edge of a distant shore of some unalterable biological event that will deeply change my life. Change me in many ways to my detriment and ultimate demise as well as to my ultimate enlightenment and liberation, or both, or neither or something else entirely. I cannot stop it or change it and I am not in control of the physical path it will take. All I can do is accept and adapt to use this for growth.
I am afraid of what it will mean for my body. When I was propelled by the drive of birth, I had the full horsepower of my species’ reproductive necessity pulling me inexorably forward and healing my wounds, all my ancestors and my evolution contrived to bring me to that point, to move my genetic material into the next generation; to serve the relentless gene.
Then for many years my reproductive viability was a fact of life; something to always remember and be aware of. The great thrum of my reproductive engine was a constant, penetrating, command in the very calcium of my bones and the elasticity of my flesh.
The drives it engendered, the pleasure, the danger, the pain, the joy, all substantially shaping me as a person physically, spiritually, socially now soon to fundamentally change with the end result to my consciousness as ultimately dramatic as my birth.
What will I find when the thrum quiets, will I be courageous or craven, adaptable or frozen, joyful or bitter? The last time reproduction transformed me I was not conscious, I was a child. Now I have the gift and curse of being aware of my own transformation and able to, at least dimly, perceive the context. This time I have a measure of influence, an awareness of the opportunity and advantage that can best come during resounding change.
The profundity makes me pine for my elders.