The hydrangeas in the front yard are in full bloom now, the weight of the flowers causing the stems to bow and reach toward the ground for relief. I was thinking about change earlier today, it’s in the air here in Michigan. The days are growing shorter and last night autumn tiptoed by me as I sat out on the deck reading, the cool night breeze chasing me inside for a sweater. The older I get, the more I believe that the most important trait survivors have in common is the ability to adapt and change. We all have expectations—for our relationships, for our careers and financial well-being, for our health and the health of our loved ones. But life doesn’t necessarily meet our expectations. As a matter of fact, you can be damn sure it won’t meet all of them! So that leaves us with a choice, become bitter and sad and live in a perpetual state of disappointment and unease, or surrender and change your expectations. It’s not easy, and you don’t get there by just saying you want to, it takes time and maybe even a few passing years. But you can get there. Change is good, you may have to bend a little to embrace it, but that’s okay, you won’t break.
“The bamboo that bends is stronger than the oak that resists.” ~Japanese Proverb
Last Sunday while on our butterfly hunt, my husband and I came across these handsome fellows grazing in a nearby field. They are African Watusi, and I couldn’t help but wonder how they have adapted to our harsh Michigan winters coming from such a warm, dry climate. The lazy days of August are coming to a close here but they are feeling much more like the cool crisp days of October and I’ve caught myself saying at least it’s not snowing several times already! I do believe that my life would be much easier, happiness much closer at hand, if I could adapt to change like the beautiful horned cattle in the photo above apparently have. I want to learn to embrace not only the crazy weather patterns here in Michigan, but also the roller-coaster ups and downs of this thing called life. In two weeks I’m turning fifty and the one year anniversary of my mother’s death is coming up at the end of September. I can’t believe I’m that old and that my mom has been gone for a year already. I’ve never been very good at accepting change, at “going with the flow” as they say, but I’m making a real effort to improve on that skill. I have to of course, because change is inevitable in every life and as we grow older the ride only speeds up and those peaks and valleys only grow taller and much deeper. My birthday gift to myself is going to be to learn to let go, to put my hands up in the air, feel the wind on my face, and enjoy the rest of the ride for as long as it lasts:)
It’s not so much that we’re afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it’s that place in between that we fear . . . . It’s like being between trapezes. It’s Linus when his blanket is in the dryer. There’s nothing to hold on to. ~Marilyn Ferguson
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