I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how things change. And I don’t just mean on a day to day level, but on this deeper level that is kind of mind-blowing and permeates everything in a way that we are usually unaware of. There is a brand new baby in my family – fresh and clean and just getting used to being in a body. I watch her tall, strong mother hold her, and it dawns on me that in a few decades that baby’s body will be completely different. Not one cell the same. Her little body will literally pass away and regenerate before our eyes.
I think about getting old too. That’s happening in my body now, and in a more obvious way, in my grandmother’s, who is dying. Our bodies are literally not the same, even year to year. And there is nothing we can do about that. We are not in control of the basic ebb and flow of life through us.
Relationships change too. Hurts and resentments cause scars that change the daily flow of interaction. Sometimes what you thought was solid is shattered. Sometimes what you thought meaningless becomes your ground. There is so much pain in these lettings go, and often so much fear in investing and relaxing into something. I was petting Maple (my little sweet dog) this morning, and was in awe of how much she could completely relax her body into the pleasure of being pet. The sun was shining on her, melting her, and it made me realize that seldom I fully soak in the pleasure of being in someone’s company. There’s always a tiny holding back, knowing that this connection, this love, won’t last forever.
There’s a resentment about that which prevents me from melting as Maple does, and just completely allowing the pleasure, in the fullness of one moment.
These changes are also maybe more palpable during the holiday season. If your family had rituals each year, and this year something is different, that change is loud and clear. A welcome change, maybe. A sadness or loss, maybe. All of those emotions are heightened, as the comparison between then and now is clear.
I’d like to make this a season of relaxing into change. Of allowing whatever emotions come, to come. And then to go. Of trying to melt into the moment, whether it’s just a bit of sparkling joy, or the bitter clanging of sadness. May we be wide and open and willing to be changed.