The moment of change is the only poem. – Adrienne Rich

Once again, a time of change. Oh, the change makes music. – James Taylor

I am living in a poem, in a time of glorious music.

Everything is changing. Grace and Whit are both going to new schools after 8 and 10 years respectively at the school around the corner. Grace is leaving for boarding school.  Matt and I are both in new jobs, and mine is in a brand new company.

Literally nothing is the same as it was last year.

And of course so much is the same. Our parents are healthy, as are our siblings. We are surrounded by love and immense good fortune. We still live in the same house, on the same street, and the same tree across the street that I’ve watched for 16 years now is in full-on summer bloom.

We have each other.

But I’ll be honest: what’s new is more present for me than what’s constant. I feel buffeted by change and upheaval, most of all by Grace’s impending departure but by everything else, too. I struggle with change.  I always have.

But now and then there are glimpses of another way of being, and they are as fleeting as they are seductive. Like a bicycle slipping into gear, once in a while I have a sensation of freedom, as I can briefly embody the be-here-now philosophy I wish so desperately was mine all the time. It is as though for a passing moment, I feel permission to just live the moment I’m in, without being paralyzed by my concerns about what is coming. To be clear: even these glimpses are new. I am accustomed to traveling through my experience with a white-knuckle grip on each day, my desire to inhabit the moment frankly equaled by my inability to release my worries about what’s coming.

So it feels like a benediction, or a blessing, to let go of this for a fleeting moment.  Is this what life in the moment really feels like? Maybe this is what sports psychologists refer to as flow. It does remind me of the sudden, startling ease of hitting a ball with a tennis racquet’s sweet spot: everything feels smoother, simpler, easier.

I have no doubt that these moments are grace.

What I don’t quite know is what brings them to me, or whose permission I’m receiving to simply enjoy my 14 year old as she is, rather than fretting overwhelmingly about her moving out.  I wish I could figure out what triggers these moments, since I want to live more that way. Somehow, I suspect that working hard to figure out what it is that allows this grace to pass through me is a lost cause, though, or a fool’s errand.  If anything, these moments of fleeting being-here-now seem to whisper that the secret is in letting go of my grip, not tightening it.

My practice this summer – a brief, shining window before our new formation this fall – will be to simply allow these transcendent experiences to descend, and to welcome them as they come.  I will try not to worry about when I’ll next be allowed to peek into life without the penumbra of what’s coming looming.

I will hear the music of the change.


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  1. Posted June 13, 2017 at 5:11 am | Permalink


  2. Posted June 13, 2017 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    What a beautiful way to describe this time in your life. Enjoy this summer 🙂

  3. Nadine
    Posted June 13, 2017 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    I am so happy for you, that you have those brief moments of grace, of just being. And you have earned it, I think your practice of noticing has gotten you there. I guess there is hope for the rest of us! 🙂

  4. Richard Kennedy
    Posted June 13, 2017 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Stunning! One of your very best ever. Celebrate what you possess and the permission you’ve granted yourself.

  5. Debbie Slade
    Posted June 13, 2017 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    I’m so pleased for you, but a little bit sad, too! You are a special family and there are good things to come, I’m sure. <3

  6. Posted June 14, 2017 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    I so hear this about change: we’ve had a turbulent year over here, too, and more change is ahead. I’ll be right there with you in letting those moments of grace come, and taking deep breaths. Gorgeous post. xo

  7. Posted June 16, 2017 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Just beautiful.

  8. Mike
    Posted June 16, 2017 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Reminds me of the Motley Crue song….