Last weekend I had the good fortune of attending a service at New York Unity church on what was literally the first day of spring. Spring took its time arriving this year to say the least, with the east coast being battered by rain and wind just days before the spring equinox brought with it near record temperatures in the 70's. It was a dramatic change, and it seemed as though the first leaves on the trees appeared literally overnight.
During the sermon the minister asked, "Did you ever doubt that Spring would arrive?" Of course no one did - Spring always arrives! But then he said, "So do you ever doubt that healing will arrive? Or success? Or a change in circumstances?" There were knowing mumbles all around.
I like to think of myself of an enlightened gal, but it's amazing how easy it is to get swept up in the drama of my life and forget that "this too shall pass." Of course I don't just mean just bad stuff, but the good stuff too. All of life is cyclical, but sometimes the cycles move too slowly for me to notice.
Years ago an astrologer told me that astrology is just the study of very large cycles - the orbit of planets around the sun - and their affect on earth and its inhabitants. These cycles are imperceptible and their effects too subtle for the average person to notice. Likewise it is easy for days, weeks and months to roll by without noticing the inch by inch progress made in one direction or another. Then one day our eyes open and we realize we are in a new space entirely - be it a crisis or a triumph - and we didn't even see it coming. Just like spring arriving in New York with a skid last weekend.
So how can we learn to stay poised and unruffled when things are either changing too slowly or too quickly for comfort? Jean Houson said, "Change the story and you change perception; change perception and you change the world." If that's true then there's no fighting change, just our thoughts about it - our story.
If I tell myself, "I'm stuck and there's no way out!" no doubt I will be miserable. But if I gently remind myself that life is in constant flux and the next phase of my life is already on the horizon (whether I can see it or not) then I can remain calm and attentive and welcoming to change. I might even enjoy the "stuck" bits where it feels like change might never arrive!
Plato noticed that, "everything flows and nothing stays...you can't step into the same river twice" and you can't fault his wisdom. But I prefer a more modern reminder of the same truth, from the great sages of Monty Python's Flying Circus:
"And now for something completely different!"
Happy Spring, everyone.