Saturday, September 3, 2016

Change is in the Air

"Where All the Magic Happens"
- desert dawn -

Some people may think that we don’t have any change of seasons in Southern California (especially out here in the desert); and while the leaves don’t change colors and snow never flies, it’s not perpetually summer out here and the seasons most definitely change.  In fact, this morning as the light of dawn began to flood the desert skies it was very clear to me that change was in the air.

After the stifling triple-digit heat of the past three summer months, the air this morning was clear, cool and even crisp. The position of the rising sun, the color of the sky, the fresh smell of the morning air told me that we had arrived at the cusp of the autumn season. It was almost as if nature somehow knew that this was the “Labor Day Weekend,” a time for transitioning from one season to another.

This morning as I thought about “changes in the air” I experienced the very familiar feeling that I often get when I become aware of “change” -  a strange and wonderful mixture of trepidation coupled with a sense of great adventure.

I am reminded of a post I read a while back on Facebook:  a picture of nothing but a black background with two white circles drawn on it. One circle was very small and an arrow pointed to it with the words “comfort zone.” Next to this tiny circle was a much larger and more expansive circle and the arrow pointing to this one read, “where all the magic happens.”

It’s certainly much easier to stay within the comfort zone of our lives. We all develop our routines in life, getting up, eating breakfast, feeding the dogs, going to work or sending the kids to school. We all have our favorite foods, go to our favorite restaurants, hold onto our all-familiar beliefs and ideas. The problem is that these routines can quickly turn into ruts. This is true for everyday living and perhaps even more true for the spiritual journey.

It seems to me that, for the most part, “all the magic” of life does indeed almost always happen outside our comfort zone.

I am reminded of something Buddhist teacher and nun, Pema Chodron, once said:

To be fully alive, fully human and completely aware
is to be continually thrown out of the nest.

In one sense the phrase “change is in the air” is an apt description of the very nature of existence. Everything and everyone is impermanent, a constant process of change, always becoming something else. If I am to be fully alive and completely aware I must approach each day with an uncluttered mind and an open heart awaiting all those new possibilities that will be manifested to me even in the most ordinary and most familiar routines of everyday life.

I got up this morning and realized that “change is in the air,” so it is with every single morning of every single day in every single season of every single life – change is always in the air. It all makes me feel a little nervous because so much of life is out of my control; but most of all, this awareness fills me with an unbridled sense of hope because life is such a great adventure.

So, let all the magic happen!

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