As the leaves move from brilliant reds and yellows into the burnt oranges and browns of late fall, I’ve been thinking about change and how hard it can be.
Think about it. We should be used to change – it’s all around us.
We’re surrounded by ever shifting seasons as this globe whirls through our oblong path through space – so we know cyclic change well. Up here on the northern coast of the country we’re doing our winter preparation rituals – getting the leaves off the lawn before snow pack arrives, Costco shopping binges just in case we need an extra 36 rolls of toilet paper in a snowstorm, that sort of thing.
Somehow that context doesn’t help when it comes to personal change. Moving through the process of saying goodbye to the collected furnishings and accumulated stuff of my dear departed mother-in-law’s place in Madrid was really hard work. And now that’s done. It’s still sad.
We’re in the final stages of construction chaos with the home improvement projects our 111-year-old house announced it needed upon our return to Minneapolis. I am looking forward to less dust and fewer people banging on walls – yet, I already miss Al, the tile guy, with his long, long stories and curiosity.
My dad was good at change. He left life on the farm to go to the city. He said he just didn’t like working with horses. They nipped at him. But I think it’s because he liked to solve the problems of change that were part of the emerging mid-century industrial landscape.
He was a mechanical engineer and he designed and redesigned factory floors to make the process of manufacturing more efficient. He loved clean simple modern design and applauded the tear down of the frilly buildings of the 1800s that were replaced by modern 1950s box-like structures.
“So much cleaner looking,” he’d say. He liked the change that modernity brought.
For me, it’s hard not to miss what was. Whether it was the Victorian buildings of my old hometown, the family apartment in Madrid we visited for 30 years, or the experience of the glorious summer and early fall of 2015.
One thing I know for certain – this, too, shall pass. But it makes me curious - how do you deal with change?