Wednesday, April 23, 2014

New Life

You can't stop the future. You can't rewind the past. The only way to learn the secret... 
is to press play.” 
― Jay Asher

I have always thought that the new year really starts each spring.

In Jewish tradition, the new year is in the fall. In America, we celebrate in the middle of the coldest times, when staying up until midnight is only possible with the warmth of Champagne. But these celebrations never seem as real as that first morning when I get up and smell it- a hint of rain, a touch of sunshine, and the growing temperature of a world waking up from it's own hibernation under winter's white blanket.

As children, we are taught to represent Spring in pictures, with sunshine, flowers, and grass. Sometimes we get a baby chick or an egg thrown in with the Easter motif. We breathe in the fresh air and the hopeful weather and we run towards this idea of newness. And I love it.

New life is all around us all the time. And I don't just mean birth, which is also happening consistently in an ever changing world. Recently, the cycle of life has shown up on my doorstep like a whirlwind- I have watched many pass from this world, and for each one mourned, a new baby has entered the same world with a hearty cry. It's an odd kind of comfort, to know that as one journey ends, another is just starting, new and unique, with a fresh faced outlook. But it's not just in birth that we are given this chance. It's all throughout our lives.

We talk a lot about making changes in our lives. For the record, I am one of the people who believes, at least right now, that change is possible for all people. But it's a long and complicated process, not as easy as just making a decision. In fact, many of the changes that occur in life happen without our wishes or desires. They come on their own accord, sometimes with no warning, sometimes almost expectedly, and throw us into periods of before and after. There are whole books that are written about huge things that make us all different, but these things are not always huge. They aren't always visible. They aren't always good, or bad, or even certain. But they form us in to who we become.

I am learning to embrace the newness of life at all times. The trick is to live in the moment, as the moment itself will never return, and who you is subject to change with no warning. It's all about being present, being real, giving yourself the chance to feel and be, and not worrying about what everyone else says or sees. In my 26 years on this planet (which seems like nothing to some, but to me, it's been a lifetime), I have grappled with this concept, never quite getting it down.

It's hard to live in the moment in a world of distractions and exhaustion. We look towards things in our future that will be restful or easy with gusto. We trudge sometimes through the opportunities of the everyday in order to get to the end. But I am starting to see each moment, each struggle, each bit of regular-ness that is my life as a wonderful chance to see who I am. To know myself. To live my life to the fullest at all times.

And each day I get a little closer to it- to a new stage of me, where I will embrace everything as if Spring was just beginning every day.