I never really appreciated change until I stood still. When you’re moving, moving things seem motionless. Like going down the highway at 65 miles per hour right next to a car going precisely 65 miles per hour, your own journey and those journeys taking place around you can seem almost imperceptible.
Until I was 39 I was a nomad. I had never lived in one house longer than two years. By the time I was 18, I had lived in five different states and attended eight different schools. Being the eternal optimist I tried to see the benefit in this. I decided that it had made me flexible, which it had. It taught me that there are options. I believe it helped me be a “big picture” person because I had not been limited by geography and could understand there was more beyond the horizon than just a setting sun. What I learned from moving is that I can initiate change. I am never stuck.
When I was 39, Susie and I bought our house on Central Pike and I am now in my fifth spring here. As odd as it sounds, I have learned that trees really do grow. I remember when we first moved in and the tippy-top of one tree was even with the railing of the second-story deck. It’s now a good eight feet higher than the deck. Trees grow. Who knew? In constant motion, I had never seen that miracle of nature.
Some trees died in the drought last year and we’ve cut them down. The half-dead sycamore lost a few big limbs in the last storm. The rhododendrons were eaten by the deer last fall. New rose bushes line the driveway and non-stop begonias welcome visitors at the front door. I suppose I would have believed you if you said that a yard would change over time. I just never knew how drastically.
Until I stopped moving, I never truly knew that change existed whether someone initiated it or not. It is not a “something” that happens, an event separate from other events. Change is inherent in the very nature of nature. It is the action mechanism of all life energy. It happens continuously and creates a chain reaction from micro to macro, from conscious thought to internalization, from feeling to spiritual knowing. It is the energy of our cells, the perpetuation of a forest, the erosive carving of a river, the journey to our own center.
And it is best observed when we sit still.