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Posts Tagged ‘change’

The object of a new year is not that we should have a new year, but that we should have a new soul.
~ G.K. Chesterton

In the blink of an eye, another year has come and gone.   The Earth is changing.  Could we be too?  Here in Cow Bay, we had our share of the extreme weather that made headline news across Canada in 2010.  Numerous storm surges caused flooding along the coast while high winds brought down tall trees. 

Still, there was much to be thankful for. 

A mild winter and very early spring made hearts light.  The warm summer that followed brought gorgeous blooms and amazing tree growth.  When fall’s leaves finally turned, many welcomed the cool, fresh air on the tails of a wicked September heat wave.  This winter has been very mild with little snowfall to date.  Surely cold and snow are lurking just beyond the corner of the new year.

Though we may not have any control over the weather, we do have control over our response to it.  As weather patterns continue to change in the year ahead, I wonder how we will respond both individually and collectively.  Will we become smarter planners like the ants, or more likely to sing in the sun while it’s shining like the grasshoppers?  Perhaps a little of both.

Natural phenomena and the effect of Nature on the spirit were frequent topics among my posts in 2010.  I especially enjoyed writing about Nature’s potential to teach, comfort and inspire:

A few posts even made it to the front page of WordPress in 2010. 

Deforestation, aggressive coyotes and our vulnerable coastline will continue to be concerns in the year ahead.  However,  regardless of what Nature has in store for us in 2011, we will always have much to be thankful for, including one another.  Happy new year and happy trails to all in 2011!

All are but parts of one stupendous whole, whose body Nature is, and God the soul.
~ Alexander Pope

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As autumn takes hold of the Nova Scotia landscape, trees release to the wind the leaves they’ve nourished since springtime.   When frosty days come around, it’s time to let go.

Though we don’t have leaves to lose at this time of year, perhaps we too have things to release in this season of change…   

Letting go of expectations is a good start.  So often we hold such firm expectations of what life should be like at any given stage, how others should be, how we should be, that we fail to see the what isWho would have thought a fungus could have petals or a log could hold a snowflake?

Wild creatures seem to have so much less of a problem than we do leaving possessions behind that no longer serve a purpose.  It’s odd that we’re the beasts who fiercely hang on tooth and nail to clothes or homes we’ve outgrown and objects that would be better put to use by someone else.  Who’ll find comfort from the winter cold in this abandoned flicker nest?

It’s not the daily increase but the daily decrease.  Hack away at the unessential.
~ Bruce Lee

While summer’s abundant blooms shout out “More is more!” autumn’s Michaelmas daisies whisper wisely “Less is more.”    

What about past successes?  Don’t the things we’ve done well in the past tug at us to continue to do more of the same in the future?  Letting go of these might seem ridiculous unless we consider the toll of doing work that does not fulfill or that may no longer be an expression of who we are now in this new season of life.   A tree that foolishly clings to its beautiful, brightly colored leaves may be completely destroyed in a wind or ice storm.

Perhaps this letting go of our concept of self is the most difficult.  Just as it’s easy to define a tree by its showy leaves, it’s all too easy for us as well to define ourselves simply by our outward skills and talents.  We are so much more and still full of surprises, at any age.  Hey, where did those raspberries come from so late in the year? 

When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.
~ Lao Tzu

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sunrise

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly flow the days
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers
Blossoming even as we gaze.
Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears.

~ Sheldon Harnick, Zorba

sun flower

 Seagulls seemed oblivious to the last hours of summer trickling away yesterday afternoon.  While a few people walked along  the shore at Rainbow Haven Beach, some were laid out on blankets, looking to catch the last few rays of summer sunshine.  Summer always seems too short, but this one was especially brief.  

As my grandson threw pebbles into the waves and we collected shells in the strandlines, it seemed like I had just engaged in the same activities with his father a moment ago.  Seasons change and generations pass in the blink of an eye.  The natural world carries on.

gulls on beach

The sunshine and warm breezes wait for nobody.  Sparkling waters and sand can only be enjoyed in the moment.  I doubt if anyone who had been on the beach yesterday afternoon regretted having made time in their day for just one more walk on the summer sand.

waves on beach

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around the corner

We humans are creatures of habit and the older we become, the more we appreciate that which is predictable.  We learn to work around familiar limitations and establish routines that make the most of the positive.  However, seasons change, both in the weather and in our daily lives.  Fresh green leaves turn red as the weather cools and autumn comes knocking on the door, indicators of more changes waiting just around the corner. 

JJ&G sept 09Numerous events over the past couple of weeks have prevented me from posting with the same regularity as before: the birth of a second grandson with more time spent caring for his older brother; the death of my quilting group’s mentor; a new job substituting at a preschool; and final visits with my middle son prior to his upcoming deployment to Afghanistan.

Some changes are more welcome than others.  Some are anticipated, while others come as a complete surprise.  We never know what’s around the corner, only that change is imminent and part of life on the planet.   

sunflowerWhether good or bad, change usually brings stress and requires a period of adjustment before bearings can be found again. Nevertheless, new challenges and situations present opportunities for transformation once we dare to break free from our comfort zones.   As long as we’re alive, there is potential for growth.

Love is the only flower that grows and blossoms without the aid of the seasons.
~ Kahlil Gibran

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I want to do to you what spring does with the cherry trees.
~ Pablo Neruda

cherry blossom branchSpring changes everything.  Trees blossom to life, flowers push out of the cold, damp ground and animals get busy finding mates and making preparations for the next generation.  Even our bodies seem more at ease after rigidly holding up our shoulders  during the cold winter months.

We’re changed internally too.  We feel lighter, and not just from shedding extra layers of clothes.  We have more energy to clean the cobwebs out of the corners of our homes and minds; we’re eager to spend more time outdoors and cheerfully look forward to warmer days ahead.  Spring is in the air and we’re transformed. 

For many, love is also in the air.  This week I’ve been working on a wedding invitation design for a friend who’s getting married later this summer.  Along with a Celtic knot, the design incorporates a phrase chosen by him and his fiancée that speaks of the transformational effect of love…

celticknot

Like spring, love awakens that which is lying dormant within us and beckons us to be transformed.    There is a call to action and growth… a moving up and forward into the future while also giving us enjoyment in the present moment.  This is what the tree buds and our winter-weary hearts have been waiting for.   Ahh… spring!

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