Monday, 20 August 2012


On weekday mornings, I cycle with my friend from her apartment in the eastern suburbs, over to her place of work in the downtown city.  It's a ride that takes us around twenty minutes and allows us to get some fresh air, exercise and to enjoy the sights and smells of summer.  Alas this morning, that I should I realise that summer is coming to an inevitable close.  Although the sun was blazing out from a sky clear and blue, there was a morning chill on the air, a chill that signifies the impending coming of autumn and with it, change.

Change.  It is inevitable in life.  Whether we seek it out or not, eventually, it will come to each and every one of us.  It can never be stopped, halted, prevented, avoided, or side-stepped.  When it comes, change can have small and subtle affects that are imperceptibly noticed or it can have far reaching and profound impacts.  Is there anything on this planet that is not susceptible to change?  Even the hardest rock will eventually change, worn down and slowly eroded by the rains, returning the rock once more, back to the earth from which it once came.

When I was younger, my mother simply used to say to me the words "You've changed." in a manner that was a blunt statement and was said in such a way that made me feel as if I had said or done something wrong.  She said it in a manner that implied I was no longer the person that she knew and that she didn't like it.  She did not give her approval to it and it was therefore, something that I should feel bad about.  And at the time, I did.  What she said though, is a very normal response from the people that love us.  People who love us do not want their relatives and friends to change, they wish them to stay exactly the same and be the person that they want them to be.  But this is just not possible in life.  Every person changes whether we like it or not.  Each of us has our own personality, our own uniqueness, the very quality that makes us human.  When a person changes, it is because they have opened themselves to life, to new experiences, to new emotions.  The only thing that we can do is to accept that change and to be happy about, and to grow and evolve our relationships as each of us changes. Love is letting go.

How we face change and what we do when it comes to us, defines whether we fear its affects or whether we joyously embrace it.  It is necessary to always be ready to embrace change as a friend, to see it as a companion on the journey.  It will bring to you the incredible highs and lows of emotion, it will lead you to new and unforeseen experiences, to meet people that you otherwise would have missed, to go places that only previously existed in books, magazines or on television.  If you try to fight change, then ultimately, you will suffer as a consequence.  You will feel cheated out of whatever it is you believe that you had before the change came to your life.  You risk feeling loss, sadness, and defeat.  But to embrace change means to feel uplifted, empowered, encouraged and open to the possibilities of life and new experiences that will, whether or not you realise it at the time, bring a richness and depth to your life that you never could have dreamed or foreseen was possible.

Some change is unlooked for and unexpected.  Losing your job, the death of a relative or close friend, the death of a pet, the break-up of a relationship, losing your home.  These are major events in life, that at the time can seem devastating, that leave us reeling, trying to make sense of what has happened, trying to find answers and asking ourselves "Why did this happen to me?".  The answers to that particular question can never be found at the time, this is a question that can only ever be answered in retrospect because in retrospect, you will be able to see how these events became catalysts for change and for everything that has happened in your life since that moment.  But, perhaps there is an answer that it is possible to give immediately to the question of why did this happen to me? and it is simply this: life.

Life happens.  As summer fades to autumn, autumn gives way to winter, winter recedes as spring takes hold, and spring once more ushers in another summer, so the cycle of life goes ever on.  It is and always will be.  All things are one.

When we feel change come upon us, we must be ready.  We must dare to take that first step along a path unknown and unfamiliar.  That first step, that beautiful first step on an untrodden path of infinite possibilities, where adventure awaits.  It is said that the art of walking is the act of falling forward, each time ensuring that you have placed your next leg in front, to catch yourself.  Walking is falling and to let yourself fall takes courage.  Embrace the courage, embrace the change.

So why am I contemplating change this morning?  One reason for sure is that feeling of the cool morning breeze as I was cycling this morning, but I am also aware that the time is coming when I must also move on and leave this place.  My summer in Montreal will end, as I always knew that it must.  Change is coming.  I can see the tips of its masts over the horizon, soon I will see the white of its sails and eventually, it will sail into port and ask me to board.  And I must ask myself, what comes next on my journey?  Where will the wind blow me?  What does the voice of my heart speak to me?

I am sitting in a cafe in Montreal, writing these words, looking out on to a street of morning activity, because I was open to change.  I have no job, I have no permanent place to call my home.  I am adrift in an ocean of possibility.  All roads lead from here.  So, I will choose a road of my own making and I will fall head first, down my own path of new experiences, and I will walk that path not alone, for I shall be accompanied on my journey by my friend, the friend that I call change.

Open your heart to the possibilities and let life flood in.  Change yourself, change your future and let life illuminate your path to glory.

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