“Man’s yesterday may ne’er be like his morrow;
Nought may endure but Mutability.”
— Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Mutability”
I left Biloxi, Mississippi at 6:30 this morning. It was 72 degrees.
I arrived Portland, Oregon at 12:00. It was 36 degrees.
In Biloxi, sun blanketed sandy beaches.
In Portland, snow blanketed sad flowers.
Tonight, back in snowy Portland, as I watched my son and daughter’s band concert in the school’s gym, a quick movement caught my eye from the hallway.
There, a little girl, maybe 2 years old was running around, exploring. She was oblivious to all the music and was content to wander and investigate.
As I observed the unfolding scene, it dawned on me that this could have been one of my children, ten years ago. Long before middle school, long before elementary school, and long before pre-school, our kids would have roamed the hallway outside the main event, investigating and exploring. No worries, no cares, no homework. An innocence lost, never to be found again.
Yet, kids grow up. Snow falls, only to be replaced by sun. Flowers bloom, then wither. It’s all part of the ever-present change.
We can’t stop change. It will happen with or without us.
We can, however, choose how we confront change – as an adversary or an ally. Change can be our most fearsome enemy, or our closest friend. We can let it prevent us from being happy, consuming our time with ways to slow it’s inevitable march. Or, we can join it’s ranks to grow and learn. It’s our choice.
And if you choose incorrectly, don’t worry. You can always change your mind.
So many people to thank for helping me give my time to attend my son and daughter’s band concert tonight – The United Airlines pilots, flight attendants and baggage crew. A friendly fellow passenger to help pass the hours on the long flight. A fast driving cabbie. A wife and son who let me nap just enough this afternoon to get a minor recharge. A kind Area Governor who arranged enough volunteers to let me play a backseat role in the Toastmasters Area contest tonight. Thanks, everyone!