I awakened half-an-hour early this morning due to hearing violent rattling and thumping sounds of gale-force winds tearing at the old sheet-metal awnings on the house. Already, the muscles of my back and abdomen remain tense as a reaction to the sounds of the awnings and the roar of the wind blowing through the tall, elderly elms. There was no leisurely stretching out in bed before arising today. The calamity of the arrival of a strong arctic front is here.
NOAA had predicted that the storm was certain two days prior. High wind warnings were posted for winds gusting to 60-miles-an-hour from midnight until noon on Monday. I became worried about the oldest trees with branches that arch over my little frame house. If a branch became torn off, it might land on the roof or onto the electric power line to the house. I pushed the worries to the back of the mind by acknowledging there was nothing I could do to stop the wind.
The severe weather is the result of the transition from 43 degrees Fahrenheit yesterday to sub-zero temperatures predicted for later today. Indeed, as I write the rough draft for a blog entry to be posted two-weeks hence, I glance at the thermometer and watch the reading drop another degree. Norfolk, Nebraska has gotten five-degrees colder within the span of half-an-hour.
Transitions are physically ever-present across the Universe. A pithy saying attributed to the Ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus says, “The only constant is change.” The translation of his actual statement is more vivid and eloquent. “Upon those who step into the same rivers flow other and yet other waters. All things . . . are in flux like a river.”
Just as the streaming of time is constant and irreversible, so is the nature of our lifeline as earthly creatures. The severe arctic cold front will pass through the area and there will be the stark, calmer winds and sub-zero chill. The extreme cold will pass days later and be largely forgotten in a week or so. The same can be said about the frustrated fight or flight response of my endocrine system to the noise of the weather’s transition.
Of course, I’ll be reminded of the events when I read this post when WordPress publishes it later. Otherwise, the thoughts of today will fade away as life continues along the way.
The world and its creatures are systems in constant states of change. We can fret over this inevitability or we can choose to ponder and celebrate it. My initial resistance and fear of the wind storm can be converted to fascination through mindfulness. I observe the storm as the physical manifestation of the swift movement of heavy frigid air displacing the lighter warmer air that was present a few hours ago. It is part of the constant process of atmospheric flux. While thinking about this, I wonder, How long ago did this air depart from Canada?
If you are an adult human reading these words, you have experienced many transitions. Some have been quite gradual and others have been more abrupt. You have been a helpless infant. You transformed into a toddler, then a school-age child. You were an adolescent, then a young adult. The process of living progresses on and on.
We’re all in transition at this very moment. We will be trying to figure out how to deal with the changes we will encounter as our lives continue to unfold. Are we open to change or are we resistant to it?
As the old wise philosopher insisted, transition and change are fundamental everywhere for everyone. By insisting upon rigid obedience to tradition or by forcing something or someone to remain the same, might we be destroying the very fabric of life? When we resist transitions and change, are we committing acts against nature?
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes actor, comedian, personality, producer Mickey Rooney. “Sometimes the transition from being in control of your life to having absolutely no control is swift, but other times it is so gradual that you wonder when it truly began.”