It is one of the great ironies of my life that, as a person who has trouble with change, I have fallen in love with a subject (the mercurial Mother Nature) that seems to be nothing but change.
I'm not sure why I have trouble with change. As a kid, I used to rearrange my room every few months and change my outfit every few hours. As an adult, though, I have the strangest reaction to change.
Take for example an average Thursday evening. All day at work I had been planning in the back of my head to spend the evening doing the laundry. I'd finally get through a whole week's laundry in one go. I really dislike doing laundry, but I was excited about it, in a cute, obsessive-compulsive sort of way.
Then (there's always a then, isn't there - it's the marker on the spot where the plot thickens) my husband called me at the office.
"I want to take you out to dinner," said my sensational spouse. "You're a wonderful woman and I want to take you on a nice date."
Now, I loved the compliment (the man has always been a stickler for accuracy, I might add), but the concept of a night out gave me pause. The little hamster that runs on the wheel that operates my brain stopped cold and said "Oh, no! What about the laundry?"
And I hate laundry. (Did I mention that? Oh, I did? Well, it deserves to be said twice.) That is the degree to which I have trouble with change. I mean, I got on board with the romantic date thing pretty quickly, but just the change in plans from what I had had planned was tough. It's like the brain hamster has trouble operating the clutch, disengaging one gear and switching to another are just a bit much for its furry little faculties.
So how is it that I can love so deeply nature, which seems to be nothing but change? For instance, off the top of my head:
-The planet is warming.
-The coyotes are actually expanding their range despite humans sprawling all over the landscape and paving paradise.
-Our nation that has suffered under a frighteningly anti-environmental administration has new hope, today, in a President whose platform is all about change for the better and who intends to do better through green projects.
-Even the moon changes shape every minute (predictable, yes, but still changing) and the sunlight on every flower I attempt to photograph changes every nanosecond.
Okay, that last one was cool. The fact that a flower or leaf or stone can appear wholly different because the sun is sashaying across the sky while our planet tilts toward or away from it in our annual Do-Si-Do, well that's just awesome.
I suppose, in the end, constant change means there will never be a shortage of surprises, never be a shortage of hope. Certainly there will never be a shortage of romance with this planet, because it is the heart's unchanging tendency, when presented with the glories of this place, to open in wonder and joy, awe and love.
Perhaps the lesson to learn is that embracing change is the only way to adapt and survive. (I'm reading Darwin's The Origin of Species via a daily post from dailylit.com - adapt, eat, and breed or sit still and wait to die seem to be the two main life choices there.)
Be like the coyote. Let the laundry pile up, go out into the world, experience the best it has to offer, and then try to give your best back to it. And then, if you're lucky enough to have been taken to a romantic dinner, and are therefore inclined to a little life change, go home and make more people like yourself!