I’ve been hiding, a little bit, over here. You may have noticed I’ve been gone almost a whole month. Minor yikes, though I’m not planning on making a habit of it. I could easily attribute the absence to travel or an abundance of epic meals to be made. But truthfully, neither is to blame. I suppose the best explanation is to say that, lately, I’m a little dumbfounded by life.
The Buddha taught that all things are impermanent; the only things we can rely on are change, impermanence, creativity, and uncertainty. The cells of my body are dying and being made new every day, as are plants and animals, stars and planets. Impermanence is sensible, but it also comes as a surprise when change applies to the things we thought, or hoped, we might be able to rely on for a little while.
In my silence, I have been digesting some impermanence. The strange thing about ever-changing life, though, is that you don’t get settled with it. Even new changes shift and change as I am watching them, living them. My friends are changing, dispersed over country and continents. Many of the cares that held us together have faded or been left behind; some have been remade and others not. My family is changing, less a tightly-woven unit and more a fragile web of individuals. My future is changing, places and paths I thought I might see someday becoming ones I might see very soon, while others disappear completely. Inside this sense of loss I wonder: even the best of plans are only imagination until they come to pass and even the best of people are only with us when they’re with us and gone when they are gone. It may seem a heavy thing, and yet everything about it blows away with the wind.
As Burns said and Steinbeck reminded us, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” I have nothing else pithy to say; I just really wanted to include this adorable picture of a critter I had the pleasure to meet before sending him on his way. I know most people don’t like rodents, but isn’t he cute? I think he’s grateful to be alive. Me too.