Natural change

Moving towards the shortest day of the year this week, dark mornings and evenings. Very wild and wet again overnight. Easy to see that life is constantly changing, going up and down, with both darkness and life as just natural parts of the overall whole.

Everything — every tree, every blade of grass, all the animals, insects, human beings, buildings, the animate and the inanimate — is always changing, moment to moment. We don’t have to be mystics or physicists to know this. Yet at the level of personal experience, we resist this basic fact. It means that life isn’t always going to go our way. It means there’s loss as well as gain. And we don’t like that.

Pema Chödrön, The Places that Scare you

Being led

I think of Gloucester, blind, led through the world
To the world’s edge by the hand of a stranger
Who is his faithful son. At the cliff’s verge
He flings away his life, as of no worth,
The true way is lost, his eyes two bleeding wounds–
And finds his life again, and is led on
By the forsaken son who has become
His father, that the good may recognize
Each other, and at last go ripe to death.
We live the given life, and not the planned.

Wendell Barry,A Timbered Choir: The Sabbath Poems 1979-1997 

You are more than your emotions.

Yesterday morning driving across country…Hailstones, winds, blue skies. Afternoon ….annoyances that pass though as we work with unexpected requests…

It is essential to understand that an emotion is merely something that arises, remains and then goes away. A storm comes, it stays a while, and then it moves away. At the critical moment remember you are much more than your emotions. This is a simple thing that everyone knows, but you may need to be reminded of it: you are more than your emotions.

Thich Nhat Hahn, Healing Pain and Dressing Wounds

What really matters

Sooner or later, just by living, we’re reduced to what matters; as many of the things we thought were important and irreplaceable are broken or snapped like small branches in a storm. And somehow, as we heal from the scratches and bruises, we stand taller, covered by less. It’s then we begin to feel gratitude, even though it’s hard to be grateful for what is difficult. In the earned nakedness that follows honest experience, we are very close to the thread that connects us to everything.

Mark Nepo, The Endless Practice: Becoming Who You Were Born to Be