There are moments when I want to cling to what I know...to resist the ongoing metamorphisis of my life against changes as constant as the ebb and flow of the tide.
W. H. Auden wrote "We would rather be ruined than changed; We would rather die in our dread than climb the cross of the moment and let our illusions die".
Often in my life those words could have been written about me. That great, looming fear of the unknown was, quite frankly, more powerful than any possibility.
But over the years, life taught me that resistance is futile. You go along for the ride...willing or unwilling...there aren't a whole lot of other options available except going along for the ride.
Some years ago I was sitting in a family group meeting for Narcotics Anonymous. It was a difficult time and an almost unbearable situation to be in as a parent.
The moderator for the meeting said something that really challenged my thought process. He said to begin to understand how difficult it is for people to change we should all try folding our hands together opposite of how we always do it. He said, "it will feel weird, it will feel wrong, and you will want to fold your hands the other way because that is what you know."
And he was right.
It did feel weird.
It did feel wrong.
And I struggled through the rest of that emotional meeting trying to keep my hands folded differently.
Lately it seems that there is a lot of struggle all around me. In my family, in the world, in friends struck by sadness and grief.
And sometimes I find myself almost angry. And exhausted from trying to accept so many changes all the time.
Sometimes I just want a moment to get my bearings...and to have, perhaps, five minutes to exhale before the tide changes again.
But life isn't really like that.
This morning when I went to a neighbors house to help her pick peaches from her over-laden trees, the desire to slow things down was on my mind. While I was picking peaches I realized how often I'd done this before. On different trees. In different places. With different people.
And yet some part of it remained the same...
There was still the astonishing burst of sweetness when you bite into the sun-warmed fruit, and the juice running down your chin, and the sticky fingers, and the intoxicating fragrance, and the excited buzzing of the bees. The gloss of the leaves was the same, the steps of the ladder were the same, the sense of losing your balance trying to reach just one more perfect peach slightly beyond the stretch of your hand...all the same.
Henry David Thoreau wrote, "Things do not change; we change."
But do we?
Do we change, or do we add more layers of awareness every time that tide goes in and out?
Or do we just learn to adapt quicker and less emotionally with the ebb and the flow.
I'm not really sure.
What I do know is that when I try and fold my hands in the opposite way, it just doesn't ever really feel right at all.
And I'm wondering if maybe I just need to practice.
And I'm wondering if I practice a lot how long it will take for my hands to feel right.
And how long it will take for change to feel like nothing more than a sun-warmed peach in my hand. ...
PS. I am fine. Just feeling philosophical. And wanting to share these deep thoughts with you.