Entering into the season that came unpredicted, I kept counting the changes. Gathering them up like crabapples from the grass, amazed at how many I had to collect just to keep things clear. Behind me another would plop onto the wooden deck. Deep sigh. There too?
When all the changes happen at once, seemingly too many to fill our arms or our buckets, we have to take a step back and notice what's still there.
A good friend took me to coffee and let me cry back when the changes were hurting like apples thrust at me by bullies. Her question helped me find my compass. "What in your life will stay the same?"
I knew a few things: my group, my loves, my role as mother. Though everything would have a new tint, most of my life would actually keep its color. Still, it took me until fall to see it.
Another good friend looked at me through tears yesterday and said, "I have to tell you, 'no.'" She couldn't join me in the new thing, the calling that's gone out before us. It took me until evening to let that one fall to the ground. Another change. I thought all the apples were gone by now, raked up by the children weeks ago.
We look so intently at what's killing us that sometimes we miss what's saving us. This is my discipline of the present. What IS the good? What is the divine surprise of each day? What is the hope disguised in the common moment? What do I need to breathe in?
Laying in a warm bed helping my tender boy solve his equations, focused on the shape of his nose.
Hugging my giant boy reaching around under his arms like I would a cozy boyfriend.
Walking my small boy to school, a half-mile confab on his seven-year old ideas.
Punching the bag pre-dawn and feeling strength advance from my biceps to my heart.
Silence in a room where there's sunlight and meaningful work.
When the changes keep coming (didn't you know they'd keep coming?) I keep digging in to what's real, what's still here, what isn't changing. This is my duty of today. This is what needs my attention.
"The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." - Socrates.