I recently received my Seeds of Change catalog, the harbinger of spring, reminding me that the next season is just around the corner and I should be planning for this year’s garden.
In the past I used to pretty much spend the colder months just waiting for the warmer ones to arrive, but as I’ve come to appreciate the present more and more, I have “discovered” and now welcome the seasons, and this year have settled into the extra layers of clothing, chilly nights. comforting stews, and gray skies of a central Ohio winter. I love the snow (what little we get), and shoveling the walk, and skiing at the “little bump” down the pike.
So when the seed catalog came, and I thumbed through for inspiration, I noticed a wall of resistance inside to the idea of shifting to the next season already, having just settled into the one that’s happening now. I didn’t think it was possible for me to cling to, of all things, winter! I joked with the winter-lover in my house that I am evidently “broken” now, thanks to him.
Looking a little deeper, I think it’s not just that I’m resisting the change of season because I’d just settled into the current one, but that time seems to pass a little more quickly each year, and suddenly I’m wishing it would slow down, before it all runs out and I’ve missed it. Partly because I know I’m still busier than I’d like to be, and not quite as present as I know I could be. I know haven’t been able yet to make all of the choices needed to get to the pace I want to live at.
And still, there’s this resistance to pay attention to, to embrace, if I can. Resistance to getting older. That fine line between being really present and hanging on too tightly, because I’m watching gravity have its way with my body, wondering how many more years of skiing – or of anything – I have left, and not wanting to take anything for granted.
What a paradox! I have more gratitude for every single moment, every precious second, and the challenge of not trying to cling or grasp at any of them, trying to remember that it only leads to suffering.
This makes me think of Kevin Spacey’s speech at the end of the movie American Beauty:
I guess I could be pretty pissed off about what happened to me… but it’s hard to stay mad when there is so much beauty in the world.
Sometimes I feel like I’m seeing it all at once, and it’s too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that’s about to burst…
And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can’t feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life…
And then, I sit in meditation, and I remember to let go, to let it flow, because the truth is, it’s all really fine, and I never really had a hold on anything to begin with.