The Chance to Change

The rain is cold at the end of October, but sometimes not as cold as the thoughts of the year leading up to this morning. Something has shifted in my universe, not in a bad way, nor in a good one, but simply shifted, as if to give me a push. I haven’t slept well lately, and I’m starting to think I am knowing why. I would like to think it was just me, but I don’t think it is, as I talk to others about the goings on in their own lives, I have come to find that they too are feeling it. Maybe it is the Covid hangover or the pending election that have us all up in arms, but to me it is something different all together. 

I can’t write much these days, not to say that I don’t want to, but merely because I simply can’t. I have thoughts and things I think I want to put down on paper, but the connection of head to hand seems to be overcrowded with other things. I am in a weird nesting phase, or cycle, or I just want to get my house in order. Literally. I have been finding projects to do, little ones that I can’t believe have taken me years to get started but just hours to complete, and big ones that will take my mind away from the little ones. Maybe I am settling in for a long winter’s hibernation, and I want my home to be my safe place. But I think what I really see is change, and if I have learned one thing over the years of self discovery and work, it is this: you can’t have change without change.

And that is what I am doing, I am changing things, to make room for change, or to at least spawn it. I have painted, walls and canvases; I have cleaned the floors and the closets. I have packed away both clothes and memories and made room for more of both. I have cleared my path, and am just working on the process.

I know you feel it, the changing, and I think it is more than just the seasons. I see it more because I have a little one that is not staying so little anymore, and his rate of change is causing me to change the rate of mine. I have been lazy, and he is forcing my hand to change with him. I see that he is putting on his backpack to explore life, and mine has been sitting in the corner gathering dust, because I have already been to the places he wants to go, and now I am tired. But he isn’t. He is full of energy and awe and is ready to see the world that I helped create. He is wanting me to show him around, and I am not sure if I am excited or scared to show him this world that he seeks.

So maybe the change I really seek is in the world I had already explored without him, and am set to explore again with him. Perhaps the things that brought me joy will still be there and the things that brought me sadness will be gone. I pray that to be true, but I know it won’t be. My only solace is that the bad that I once felt helpless against is now changeable by my own doing, that I am older and smarter and more capable of the change that can help with the sadness I see in others. I was once a young bystander to the sadness, and today, I am the agent of change that I wish I was back then.

Maybe the change is just me, and who I am and who I want to be from this time forward? The person I am now is not the one I was years ago, but for me be someone different years from now, I need to do something different now, I need to do work, actual work, and that is my goal. To do actual work, the kind of physical work that causes the brain and the body to change, and in turn, be a different person, all in hopes to live in a different world that is shaped my changed perspective and stronger hands.

And so I set forth, with a growing boy eager to see the world. I will help him see the sadness, and teach him how to change it, something I could’t do myself then. But the world is different, the tools are different, the pain is different. I look forward to the hike, the movement of my feet down a familiar path, down the rocky roads and up the mountain again. I will have someone to show the ropes, and someone to pull my rope, for I know I will tire during the climb, but he will pull me and I will push him. And at the top of the mountain or the ridge or the slide, he will find the adventure he seeks, and I will find the memories I had once lost, and we will have a crossroads of old and new, and I will pass on the baton in this race we call life. And as he runs away, finishing his part of the race on his own, I will stand and grab my backpack, head down the mountain and look for another that needs help up the road. I will take time and sit at the side of the path and gather my breathe, I will think about the boy that is down the other side, looking for his next adventure, and I will look down the trail and hope to find others, that see the change and want to be part of it too.