And then change takes you through a place where questions are the only answers.
Where have you come from? How far and wide has your journey been? Where are you going? And what does this whole thing mean?
This thing that beats inside of you, the fullness of which you feel in the up and down rhythm of your chest and in those still, quiet mornings when the mist is real and naked. You come face to face with life, vulnerable and raw.
Who are you? the whispers come, sometimes softly sometimes urgently like your life depends on it. Change has a way of turning this question inside out. Those moments when everything around you is unsteady and your feet wobble too. The reflection of yourself you see is shaky too, pulled in all sorts of directions.
But when the waves of uncertainty pass there is a refinement that remains in their wake. A refreshing. Like the first summer rains. It doesn’t come all at one. It is little treasures tucked in all the nooks and crannies of the passage of change.
It is always a shifting. A moving out or moving in. Old things give way to the beginning of others.
Sometimes change is a new home, a new city, a new space.
Sometimes it is a new job.
And other times it is pain – a loss, an ending, an eruption.
But the way is peppered with moments when you glimpse the beauty that is you learning to dance with change. Side to side. Two steps. Three steps. Like lanterns gliding across each other but together through air following an unknown river in the dark.
You find it in you. The skills to be you through the confusion. Your fingertips know how to hold things by holding them. They clutch the walls for you and lead you. Your legs give space to one another ushering you forward faithfully. This is the way.
Every change leaves an imprint on our lives. An addition to the way we will never be the same person again. This is called growth. And sometimes it comes at a cost.
I often think of butterflies. Because they embody this cost. They understand it.
They live everywhere in my world. They are carvings on my walls and in between the pages of my books. For something so beautiful their beginning can seem almost traumatic. The dying and living again. Cocoons. They know everything there is to know about metamorphosis, the changing into something beautiful, into adulthood. They remind me that the opposite of harshness is softness. And that life will offer me both at one moment or another.
There is nothing sweeter than looking back and realising how much we have changed. How that one particular moment cracked us open and pulled out all the good stuff. Stuff that would never have come out without the churning. Without the shifting that change can bring.
This is what this thing is about, the human beings we become because we lived.