If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies.
Yesterday I had lunch with a long-time friend, whose mantra for years and years has been, "We eat change for breakfast."
I don't know where he got the phrase--perhaps it came to him in an inspired moment--but I know he believes it implicitly.
The debut of the saying came about, my friend said, when he went to his office one morning at eight o'clock, and by nine o'clock, everything he had planned had gone by the board and his day was completely different. "Eating change for breakfast" is a unique way of saying, "Don't make plans." Or, "Things change." Sometimes radically.
Now, in late July, we're noticing changes in Nature. Leaves change color, fall from their trees; grass turns brown (that's usually an August phenomenon); nights cool off, breezes have a little bite to them; sun rises a minute or two later, and sets a minute or two earlier. Here in the Northern Hemisphere we're segueing from summer to fall, minute by minute, day by day. We know it's coming, we expect it.
I can get my head around those changes. They've always been part of my life and I know about them. I note the finches in spring, losing their silver, turning to gold. As autumn advances, they'll lose their gold and become silver again.
In my personal life, change is less drastic--subtle, even--and often so gradual that I don't recognize change has occurred until one day I take a good look at a situation and realize, Huh, that's different. The ones that surprise me are the shoulder aches I didn't have yesterday, or a new cluster of wrinkles that appeared overnight. I shrug my shoulders (gently) and soldier on.
My dog is gradually coming to the end of her life. At 17 years, 5 months, she has earned her rest. Her going will make a huge hole in my life. Talk about change! She's been my constant companion for seven years. Watching her grow weaker tears me up, but I know I can't keep her alive forever. My deepest wish is that she will let me know when it's time for her to leave.
Other times, change is--or seems to be--sudden.
Not all change is sad . . . I have grandchildren who are looking for new jobs, children who are contemplating major moves across the country . . . those are positive changes as they search for better places to work and live. I send birthday cards to a whole raft of relatives--knowing each time that person is a year older. My child is how old? Really? I remember being that age.
Yesterday my neighbor of fifteen years left her home and went to live with her daughter and son-in-law. Iola, who is now 80, has been losing her perspective and having problems with dates, times, and money. Her family love her, have a place for her, and want her to live with them. Change had to come, in some way. This is less traumatic than it might have been. I'll miss her ready smile, her sweet nature. She walked miles every day, because she loved being outdoors and always had to be moving. But I know it's for the best, and that she will continued to be loved and cared for.
Thinking about my neighbor's move, I recognize that my own situation will change, maybe sooner, maybe later. But I can't let it rule my life or make me sad. The best I can do is plan and possibly prepare. My recent post about downsizing struck a chord with several readers. All reported it's a big job, but worth it. It's about daring to change one's way of living, try something new. Daring to change is a big step--scary, even--but guess what? New growth can take place. Definitely worth it.
I think I'll take that dare--who knows? I might turn out to be a butterfly.