I'm only good with change when it comes to me on my own terms. Change imposed upon me against my will ignites a snarling, petulant little tyrant. Although I am an avid learner, when Life comes packaged in the jagged-edged box of a painfully unexpected lesson, I'm finding that I tend to sickle and partially collapse.
Change is the most unapologetic master - a Samurai sword to the kneecaps, leveling all that we think we know and believe. Some days I think I got this change business. Some days I'd honestly rather not even wake up. I currently live under a bell jar in rural Colorado and I can't leave. I'm invested here - in community, in relationships, mostly in responsibilities. But man do I want to duck and fucking run lately.
Everywhere looks better than here... away from the smoke, the heat, the drought, the conflict, the pain and the change. Portugal looks divine; Italy, a dream; Mexico, paradise; the temperate rainforests of Oregon, heaven on Earth.
But I'm smarter than that by now. After 37 years, I know better than to run. The definition of the verb, "to change," is "to make or become different," and that's simply what's happening. My preferences are shifting, my ability to discern is honing, my character is forging and my strength is crystalizing. As the temperatures rise, my heart is softening and cracking, disintegrating and flowing like glacier melt to the sea - molecules dissolving and then realigning into new dimensional patterns of awareness, creating new structures of experience and perception.
Change is the journeyman craftsmanship of God, and I'm being asked to evolve with the turning of the lathe and the deft shave of the chisel. Parts of me are falling to the floor - the old, the unnecessary, the dead. In animals it is called "ecdysis," or molting... the shedding of the inelastic outer layer, now too small and rigid to contain the demands of new growth below.
In 6 months, I won't even recognize this woman, struggling against the pressures of change. It's a low-hanging metaphor, but my discomfort is akin to the butterfly, who rails against its own crinkled wings, pumping them full of life force until they inflate and dry for first flight. My wings feel pretty gnarled lately, but I take solace in a favorite quote by Louisa May Alcott in her beloved novel, Little Women. In the words of heroine Josephine March:
Change will come as surely as the seasons and twice as quick.
We make our peace with it as best we can.