When Nothing Changes…

Thursday night, my husband had gone on a short weekend camping trip and I was left alone… with my thoughts. As I let the dog out for last pee, I found myself staring at the sky, looking to see whether the clouds have rolled in yet. We had rain forecasted to begin overnight Friday and continue through Sunday evening, but obviously as of Thursday night, the stars and moon continued to shine brightly. I found myself near giddy with anticipation of the impending (drastic) shift in the weather.

If this is going to be the commencement of our annual ‘6 months of fucking rain,’ we may be a tad earlier than in years past, but I don’t think that’s it. This week, we’re expected to have more of what I’ve always called “Crispy Fall,” when the leaves are falling from the trees at a good pace, and yet they don’t immediately turn into gloppy wet compost in our gutters because it’s still dry and sunny. The air is crisp and the leaves are crispy.

The real reason I was seeking confirmation of the weather was that it has been so hot and so dry for so long, I am just excited for the onset of autumn, for a subtle shift as we glide gently out of summer. A change will do us all good.

When we observe certain things NOT changing, like a frustrating situation at work or tension within a family relationship, we can allow ourselves to get comfortable, too comfortable at times. The part of us that regulates us and emotionally shepherds us through change becomes atrophied with lack of use. We lose the muscle memory for how to react and adjust and we start to cling to that which is all we can remember. We must resist this stagnation and choose the other path, to challenge ourselves to see the things that ARE changing, even when we have been conditioned to look past or ignore those things.

Change happens in natural cycles all the time: the sun rises and sets as the earth turns each day, the moon goes through phases close to monthly and the seasons turn throughout the year. When you keep your eyes open to each and all of those changes as they occur, you can will yourself to become more resilient, less resistant to change in other facets of your life. You do not have to cling to something that isn’t working for you… let it go. Accepting change and finding opportunities to grow within the changes happening around you is a skill that can take people a lifetime to hone and master.

Or you could just choose to do a little bit better today than you did yesterday and better yet tomorrow than today. Stare at the sky for 5 minutes. Sure, you can blink if you need and, FOR THE LOVE OF WHATEVER YOU BELIEVE, don’t STARE at the SUN! Just check out the sky. Count how many different shades of blue you can see. If it’s cloudy, look for cartoon characters or dead presidents’ visages in the clouds. Just observe. Think about what changes before your very eyes. If the sky is really still and nothing is changing, shift your gaze to the trees around you, or even to the ground at your feet. If you look for 5 minutes, I guarantee you, you will see evidence of change. Then wait and hour or two and do it again.

And you should rejoice, because you still have the capacity to experience change, because you remember what change looks like, and because you are still on the earth, above ground. You have the power.

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