And I wonder
When I sing along with you
If everything could ever feel this real forever
If anything could ever be this good again
The only thing I’ll ever ask of you
You gotta promise not to stop when I say when…
-Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters “Everlong”
Fall brings about the condition of change to our lives. We say goodbye to summer and hello to colder (and in coastal Virginia, less humid) weather. It’s interesting that we have had Gale Force wind gusts on the Mid-Atlantic seaboard on this day, makes me think of the winds of change.
On this day 15 years ago, I was married in the eyes of the Catholic church to my estranged husband (we eloped 11 months prior). So on this first day of Autumn and the “not” 15th anniversary, it seems that impermanence is a good lesson for me. It was not in my long-term plans on that night 15 years ago to be sleeping alone, with my [future] children spending 50% of their time with me and the other time with their father, in separate houses.
“All conditioned phenomena are impermanent”; when one sees this with Insight-wisdom, one becomes weary of [suffering]. This is the Path to Purity.” Buddha, Dhammapada v 277
It is amazing how I have grown to expect certain things in my life. Even though I know with my work that anything can change (and drastically) at any time, I have persisted with the expectation that tomorrow will be pretty similar to the Thursday I had last week or the week before. This is such a ludicrous assumption to make!
I am a different person today than I was yesterday or even this morning when I awoke. How can life really be the same from one week (or day) to the next?
My biggest recent awakening in this regard has been about my children. I have taken their part in my life for granted, as I recently realized that I had been making the assumption that I would never see a day of life without them. In being focused on getting through each day, I had forgotten to value the moments I have had with them. I have made the assumption that they were a permanent part of my life, even though there is no promise of this, anywhere.
Just as it was my assumption when I got married 15+ years ago that my marriage was “until death do us part,” when my children were born, I never dreamt that they would ever be apart from me 50% of their lives before the age of 18. These were assumptions I made.
The truth is: No-thing is permanent.
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