If you have practiced Buddhism or a few other eastern traditions at all you’ve heard about it, read about it, been admonished about it, and more. Even if you haven’t you have experienced it. The ever changing now, the subtle shift of the winds, the endless march of time, whatever your preferred referent it’s quite clear, all things are in a state of flux.
Often impermanence gets a bad wrap as the thing that takes whatever we love away from us, but from the right perspective impermanence is also what gives life’s it’s special significance.
The moments we cherish very often signify change. A great example of this is the sunset. People all over the world admire and relish the colors, the shifting light, the change in noises, that the sunset brings. The sunset embodies a moment of change.
The sun moves all day long and maybe we notice the changing angles of light, the shift in temperature, but maybe we don’t. In the Northwest United States, for example, the shift of the sun often occurs behind a curtain of impenetrable grey.
The sun set (or sun rise) is a time when the movement demands our attention, often with a dramatic effect. It signals that this day is ending, that even the huge forces that seem so stable to us are shifting in front of our very eyes.
If you’ve ever sat and watched a sunset you know this to be true. The sun a massive ball of plasma, falls beneath the horizon faster than you realized it could. It’s our attentiveness to this change that helps us see the beauty.
There are many other examples of beauty found this way in change, migrating birds, the opening of flowers, the first snow, the first spring shower, the first warm day of summer, and many more. These moments bring us into the present moment and show us that this flow of life is filled with an amazing vitality.
When I stand in the middle of one of these moments, I can feel my life sliding underneath me. Like that moment when the waves cross over one another at the beach. They seem like they are both coming out and going in all at once. This feeling is raw and scary, but it something I live to feel. It’s this feeling that makes me realize how precious each grain of my life truly is.
Take some time this week and reflect on something that you enjoy watching change. Think about how changes in the day, the seasons, even the people around you create beauty in your life.
Change is what enables us to become new people to learn new things. It keeps everyday fresh and unexpected. It only becomes a problem when we fear it.
Thanks for reading and Be Well,