Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Can You Feel a Change in the Air?

So often, we spend much of our lives, blind to what goes on beyond the warmth and familiarity of our everyday routine. Snug in our nests constructed of happy memories and the love of friends and family; lulled by the belief that all is well with the world and we have found our way home. And we come to think we can own this life and, with careful tending, live our “happily ever after”.

But this chimera, this dream, dances just beyond our grasp, visited by the winds of change and the inevitable knowledge that ultimately, we have little control over where life’s journey takes us. Sometimes we await these changes with anticipation and the promise of mystery and adventure. Sometimes that reality is an unwelcome visitor, tarnishing cherished dreams and forever altering our road map for the future.

Today, we were visited by the head of our agency. He came to answer anguished questions as best he could from people whose lives have been upended by the signing of legislation making layoffs an inevitable event for our agency. Young people, just married, with new mortgages. Old people, once ready for retirement, whose savings are gone. People who worked hard to climb the career ladder, who now face demotion. All of us facing heavier workloads and new job duties. Six months ago, we were sure in the course of our lives. Now, many of us have lost the wind in our sails and are adrift in an uncharted sea. And there were no answers. Only the date the winds of change will blow: October 1.

The fear and anger, desperation and confusion, were palpable in the air. But little by little, I heard voices raised in possibilities – could we, do you think, what if…..and suggestions began flowing on how we could make this better. How we can survive. How we can make the best of a very bad situation. Side bar conversations after the meeting – this might be the opportunity to live a dream kept on a back burner, long thought impossible because we are so busy trying to live the American dream – a house, the right car, the ultimate vacation…

And you realize….while we cannot control our lives, always, always, we choose the colors through which we view these events as we struggle to find new direction. Rather than look longingly at the past, we can embrace the future with joyous anticipation of new adventures and destinations and be thankful for the opportunity to breathe deeply of the beauty of this world. We can lean on each other and learn new ways of doing things and we can survive. And maybe, just maybe, the future we dread at this moment will become our new “happily ever after”.


Suzanne Reynolds said...

I hope the winds of change are gentle ones for you, Jan. My son is one of the young ones; with a new marriage and mortgage, his job disappeared last month. But we feel optimistic for him. These kinds of changes are more challenging as we get older.

And, yes, there is literally a change in the air. With an open window last night, things felt a little chilly in the morning. Quite unexpected after last week's heat wave!

Tory Brokenshire said...

Jan your last three posts have really touched me, fear,joy and concern. You are in my thoughts... I really enjoy your blog you put down your words so eloquently,not to mention your beautiful photos, thanks

purple bird art said...

Thanks so much for your kind comments, Suzanne and Tory - I appreciate you taking the time to read my words.

Tracie Lyn Huskamp said...

JAN!!!! Does this mean YOU????

I wish I were there to hold your hand, give some sort of comfort... UGH.. the miles... and miles between Kansas and Oregon.

Email me... Please!!!!

Mary lin Huskamp said...


Sometimes the winds of change have destinations for us in mind that we would never sail. I hope this is the case for my heart I believe it is. You have a lot to give and the days that are forth coming will provide a way for your gift to be shared. It will be great to see you in a few short I tears well in my eyes for your challenges I am confident that there are days ahead that will bring you more joy that you dreamed possible. Keep strong and always know your friends care!