Something really strange starts to happen around the fall. The sweaters come out of hiding, pumpkin seems to infect every flavor profile, and instead of confetti, we have leaves falling all around us. This change seems to not only affect our surroundings (ya know, those of us with deciduous trees around us) but also ourselves. (Except, of course, department stores. Somehow, they go from August to Christmas…I don’t know who is making that decision.)
But it is such a curious thing that we notice the leaves and the weather changing. We feel the crispness, and we crunch the leaves. Yet, we are loath to see the changes in ourselves. We can’t acknowledge how far we have come in our own lives. Because we do change. We’re changing every day. We’re making progress all the time, even when it feels like we are slipping backwards. But because we don’t feel our change, don’t display it in a vibrant display of colors, it somehow goes unnoticed to us. I, for one, think it is time that we recognize it.
Let’s start small:
Did you know, on average, skin cells live about 2-3 weeks?
That birthmark or freckle you’ve had since you were born, it’s been through a couple of lifetimes since you’ve lived one. And yet, we’re so afraid of change. We’re so afraid of ruining a routine or a lifestyle. We get up everyday, and we try to do things exactly the same, so we don’t get stressed. We don’t like surprises. A step out of place means an entire mind out of align.
But really, we’re living in a constant state of flux, and it doesn’t matter how close we play our cards to our chest. More things change in our lives than stay the same. Many more things. In fact, those leaves changing colors on that tree take more time changing than you do.
So, why don’t we like change? Because it doesn’t taste like pumpkins and it doesn’t wrap us in warmth like our favorite sweaters?
Maybe. But maybe we don’t like it because we can’t predict it like the seasons. Our changes are on some sort of cycle, but one that is unknown to us. We can’t tell when it’s going to happen. But that doesn’t mean we can’t prepare for it. The paradox is that we can prepare for it by understanding that change is constant. That the world will not stop moving, spinning on and on. And that we should never try to struggle against it.
So, whether you are seeking change but not finding it or warding against it even when it is there, I simply hope that when you see a new leaf, you’ll celebrate turning one, too.
Also, lay off winter. Just because we don’t hibernate during it, doesn’t mean we should give it the cold shoulder.