Winds of change

Yesterday was a day that started with thunder and rain and ended with strong winds. The effects of the wind were apparent in numerous yards: downed twigs and branches, animal and bird nests from the previous season scattered and strewn, and poorly stored recycling and garbage bouncing down the street. Yesterday was a winds of change sort of day, where winter’s domination is dwindling and spring’s influence is rising.

Nature’s winds of change may seem destructive to us. Trees can lose large limbs, be split like a Thanksgiving wishbone, or be torn from the ground. Healthy trees are occasionally damaged by the detritus from a nearby unhealthy tree. Tall plants get broken or flattened. There is a hidden benefit for the perceived destruction. The tree pruning gets rid of dead and diseased branches. Healthy trees suffering damage may eventually die off, but perhaps the trees were too crowded from the start. Seeds that ordinarily travel a few yards fly for miles, sometimes ending up in a new area with ideal growing conditions. Gaps in the tree canopy allow sunlight to hit the ground and giving new plant species a survival chance. A small fire string with a lightning strike could spread for thousands of square miles because of wind. Even though the blackened are is seemingly damaged and dead, new life starts forming. It has been a natural cycle for hundreds of millions of years.

The natural cycle occurs on a time line many times longer than a human’s life expectancy. Our species has figured out ways to terraform areas in decades rather than in geological ages. We have selectively bred trees for quick growth and maximum shade. Nursery companies breed flowers to grow larger, be disease resistant, and present colors and scents that would unlikely have occurred through natural evolution. Years of grafting and cross-breeding create fruits that have longer shelf life, bear more heavily, and are more aesthetically pleasing.

We are impatient, we want instant gratification, we want to master and dominate. As much as we try to control our lives, change occurs. For most part, these changes are small, happen gradually, and are barely perceptible, like the miniscule breeze created by a butterfly’s wings. Occasionally, drastic changes occur in a short period of time, where the winds of change seem like a swirling vortex bent on destroying one’s entire world. That is when you learn how strong your family ties are and who your true friends are. They will be the ones hanging on to you for dear life, risking that vortex to keep you from being blown away. They will also be the first ones to offer love, help, and support during the painful rebuilding process. Most importantly of all, they will be the ones who will tell you that things will be all right and they will believe in you even when you do not believe in yourself. Yet for everything they will do, they expect nothing in return, because they value you and what you add to their lives.

People who are the giving type are often reluctant to ask for help because they are not used to taking. Keep those special people in mind and be there for them just as they are there for you. Be thankful for that support team because they will provide the boost needed to get through a difficult time. I know I would not have made it through the past three years without the support and inspiration of my loving family and my incredible friends, especially my best friend. Count on me to be there for you like you were there for me.

Because the topic of this post is about the winds of change, a famous Irish blessing will serve as the closing:

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

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