Changes

An article for the Riverview Reflector's Spring issue:

Change is part of life. That’s not new news. As long as I am alive, moving and breathing on my own I expect I will continue to change. I will change and life around me will change. Such is the nature of aliveness. Some changes are more welcome than others. Some are positive and enjoyable. Others are incredibly hard and painful. Some changes happen without us much noticing them. Some happen quickly, almost overnight. Others, though we may wish they would happen quickly seem to evolve at a snail’s pace.

My husband received a What’sApp call from our daughter and grandson yesterday evening. As his phone continued to ring, he stood staring at the screen wondering how to receive the call. On her second try he figured it out. “It’s a brave new world out there, dad” was our daughter’s remark. Yes, it is. Technological change boggles my mind. Her son, who is a delightful 16 months old, is living his young life with as much ease with technology as I knew growing up with a toaster!

Current political change and climate change are troubling, calling us all to wake up, pay attention, speak into and act in the places where we have influence.

In my work I spend time visiting with our elderly seniors, several of whom are in their 90s. Changes in aging can be very difficult to accept. My mother-in-law used to tell me, “growing old is not for the faint of heart”. I see this to be true time and time again.

Other days when I’m not working, I savor time spent with my grandsons, Julian, now 7 and Odin just 16 months. The remarkable changes I see in their lives come from ongoing growth and learning. I had conversation with Julian about the lunar eclipse. He wasn’t up late enough to see it but he knew all about it. Odin makes the very direct connection between the moon in Goodnight Moon and the one he sees (on clear evenings) hanging in the sky.

In the church calendar we are currently in what is called Ordinary Time, time between Christmas and Lent. It is a time to focus on change and growth. In the most ordinary times of life we can undergo some pretty extraordinary change and growth.

A few weeks back I picked up a book of blessings written by Brother David Steindl-Rast. I ponder and appreciate his perspective on changes:

Source of all blessings,
you bless us with c h a n g e –
in the seasons of the year, from
snow to greening, flowering,
fruiting, and harvest, in the
seasons of life, from childhood to
youth, full ripeness, and saging.
All living things keep changing.
May I welcome change as a sacred
opportunity to grow and savor
in each unrepeatable moment’s fleetingness what Is beyond
change.        
   99 Blessings: An Invitation to Life, by Brother David Steindl-Rast, New York: IMAGE, 2013.

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