August 2017 – Meditations on Transition
Nothing describes August better than transition. The kids are back in school, the fish are done running (except for you lucky folks in Whittier), and… winter is on its way.
Cycles are built into our universe from the celestial to the subatomic, and change is an inevitable fact of our existence. Two things about the certainty of transition are worth considering from time to time, and perhaps a lot more frequently than we are generally used to.
The first is the futility of trying to hold on to the past. Fishing for reds in September, October, November, etc. isn’t going to accomplish much. Nor is trying to feel (physically) twenty or thirty years old when we’re sixty or seventy. Understanding and accepting change is a fundamental part of human growth and development, and of most major religions and philosophies since the dawn of human history. As the Byrds sang… “Turn, turn, turn.”
The second is the importance of preparing for the future. Squirrels and bears do a pretty good job, and so do most of us when it comes to food, housing, money. Why is it that we often do such a poor job of planning and preparation when it comes to our physical, emotional and spiritual health? If physical decline and death are inevitable, why don’t we take action more in accord with these inescapable transitions? Not to mention what comes after death?
Being in the current of a river is something many Alaskans are familiar with too, and perhaps provides the best illustration of these points. Paddling upstream isn’t really feasible, and we would do well to live in the present, enjoying (if possible) but not trying to live in the past. Obsessing about what cannot be controlled in the future is not beneficial either, but minding the rocks, sweepers, and falls ahead and steering appropriately goes without saying. In case we haven’t said it clearly enough in these few brief paragraphs: decline/decay, pain, loss and death are inevitable and neither trying to rewind the clock nor pause it are going to work. Know that you are in the current; know where you’re at now, and know where you’re heading.
Leave a Comment