“For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else.”

  — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Change is in the air this morning.  The horrible heat and humidity that have weighed down the very air we breathe have released their grasp and allowed the breeze to blow again.  It whispers through the trees and awakens the hiding birds; and they venture out of their shelter and into the morning.  All through the neighborhood, their song of change sings out; and I am called from my own hiding place to explore a fresh new world.  For the first time in a month, I release the stagnant thought that this summer — one of such intensity that it has masked the glory of the world in full bloom — might go on forever.  Now I must hurry out and take in every single blossom and every leaf on every tree.  The crisp morning breeze reminds me that Autumn lies just around the next bend in the river; and I sway to and fro between relief and sadness as I feel the change coming.

Change is on my mind today.  I would say that it is part of being alive, but the truth is that it is change that defines living.  We forget during the dog days of summer that anything different might exist; but just as we relinquish any hope of relief, the breeze of change blows the stagnant air away and shows us a fresh, new perspective.  On the most difficult days of our lives, I always tell my children that the best thing about life is that it always changes.  There is no avoiding it.  What is important is to remember on the most joyful days that the only way to look ahead to more joy is to release our hold on the wonderful moment and trust that change will bring us to such wonder again and again.

I have a little granddaughter whose passion for living each moment is so immense that nearly every time she comes to play, she has to cry when it is time to go home.  “Don’t cry because you’re leaving,” I tell her, “smile because you know you can come again.”  This is the lesson of living — to welcome the changes that define our lives and embrace them fully, trusting that no storm goes on forever and that smooth sailing might lack adventure without a wave or two to keep us alert.  We are creatures of change; and with each passing moment we, too, are changing.  For each choice we make, dozens of others go unmade.  For each loss we experience, we gain wisdom and insight that leaves us more alive today than we were yesterday.

I must go now.  The wind of change is blowing through the trees, and it is calling me to a new adventure.  What it will be I do not know, but I must walk now until I reach that place, just beyond the next bend in the river.  It isn’t clear what lies there, but I know for certain that as I choose to go there, I will never again be the same.