Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender
what you are for what you could become.”
~ Sir Winston Churchill
I am loving the mild summer weather we’re having lately here in Connecticut. After what’s felt like months of rain, the sunshine is such a welcome change. Speaking of change… so many of my friends, including me, are going through changes in their lives. The quote, “Change is good” comes to mind. And it can be good, but sometimes it takes a little pain, a little effort (or a lot), some stick-to-it-ness — a will and a way. When I looked up the quote to see who said it, it was no surprise to find it attributed to Sir Winston Churchill. He said the greatest things! He didn’t say it quite so succinctly, but that was the idea. The real treat was finding the quote above about surrendering for the sake of becoming. Wow! Loved this.
The past few years have all been about change… and growth… and transitions. “You’ve got to go through it to get to it.” I have no idea who said that - maybe it’s one of those things I made up or paraphrased, but it’s so true and I find myself thinking or saying it all the time. It’s true of the positive changes as well as the more difficult ones.
What helps me make the most of transition is a balance of solitude and the company of good friends. I’m one for a good heart-to-heart, preferring a dinner party of six or eight over a huge party in which I butterfly from one person to another without really having a good conversation. So, the other day, when a good friend who is also going through some changes, invited me for a picnic lunch in the middle of a work day, I thought, “Perfect! Exactly the change of pace I need.” It was only an hour, but sufficient time to catch up on each other’s lives and just “B”. It was a gentle reminder of the importance of doing just that.
We said our good-byes, promised to do this again (mental note to call her and schedule our next picnic!), and got in our cars. Last minute, I decided to drive home in the opposite direction I normally would. It was the long way. A way I hadn’t taken in a very long time. Transition to solitude.
About a mile into my drive, I stopped at a fruit stand to buy fresh strawberries, blueberries and plums. To my delight, the owners gave me a few free peaches, perfectly ripe. I continued down the windy, wooded roads, studded with historic homes, picket fences, stone walls and occasional barns. I spent the entire drive home “noticing” - the light on the leaves, the old churches and landmarks I had not passed in years; the two dog statues that kept guard over someone’s driveway (they’re now comically painted with bright red lips, black ears and noses!); the old barn with the caved-in roof had been lovingly rebuilt; the little country inn where I attended a wedding years ago, was now called by a new name; the quaint Redding town center all shiny and white against a lush green backdrop of foliage; and the nursery where you can still get fresh eggs. It was all very beautiful, as if I were seeing it for the first time.
This meandering home was completely unplanned and just what I needed. I surrendered to the day and became at peace with where I am right here, right now.