I slowly wake to the rough game of catch silhouetted by street lights against the still dark sky of early morning. The wind tosses the evergreen branches. They try to return to their still calm of summer but the wind knows.
The wind brings the new of changing seasons. Winter rides upon his shirttails. If not today, soon he will furl the branches in white weighting them for the long slow winter.
I will drive with care to work today. The slick of the rain is edged by the sly crystals of ice hiding in their wetness. It is a time of change when the knowns of two very different seasons interplay in a guessing game for wary drivers.
These times in our lives are the ones that test us. Will we get lost in the litany of dangers inherent in each new seasons? Or will we find the anticipation for what is in store? Change is inevitable. It will come. Winter will not hold back because I ask it to or ignore it to retain the status quo.
What am I doing with the changes in my life right now? What am I holding back from doing that is a part of this transition? Where am I letting a litany of dangers keep me from moving forward into growth? We all have the possibility of resistance within us. What are the questions that will help you find you own?
We also have within us the explorer ready to face new mountains, ready to descend into ravines to discover the next turn in the trail ahead. Sometimes expectations stunt the development of this explorer’s dreams. Parents impose their visions. Financial limitations don’t seem to have answers. One we dreamed of sharing the journey with is gone. We failed to be able to do all the things in life we believed were the necessities for making our dreams come true. Life imposes its shape on dreams seeded in our childhood and we shut them up in some inner room and wonder why our lives feel less than whole.
I think of a recent conversation with a friend who is unsure about where he wants to go in life. His dream path is not the one he now follows. In fact, he seems to have lost the map for that dream. He is angry at all the demanding advise to just get going and stop resisting the path that has been determined for him. His only resistance comes in hurting himself by letting his hopes die slowly within.
I have been him. My poetry and writing holding the dreams of my youth once lay in torn shreds on the floor, a testament of trying to kill the dream to keep living the lie.
But I am one of the lucky ones. Somewhere along the way I was taught that the words like “stubborn” and “selfish” are only interpretations when it comes to following the inner explorer inside instead of living in the rigidity of the dreams others impose. Sometimes we need to change our vocabulary. The same attitudes can be named “determination”, “independence” and “nonconformity” the words used to describe my granny. Three years ago I found out that I am much like her. I am just growing into acceptance of those words as definitions for my own life.
A favorite author, Parker Palmer, encourages us to let our lives speak not in trying to be someone else, but in being the sapling in our youth whose genus could be identified by the things that lived out in our childhood choices. In that young sapling is found the identity of who we are meant to be. Who I am matters because the me that comes from within is the one with the best potential for impacting the world for good.
When change comes, that rooted self will have the strength to withstand the winds of changing by being flexible enough to accept the tossing so often accompanying transitions.
Wishing you strong roots and flexible branches.