They can be fun, transitions I mean, and they can be very difficult indeed, all the ones we go through during our lives, from a new school, a change of home, a change of life, acceptance of something we never asked for, and so on and so forth and fifth.
I spent the past five days helping my son move home. The weather was superbly kind, the trailer didn’t blow a tyre, the help turned up and so did the grannies and grandpas. We all just seemed to fit into whatever role we chose and we worked in harmonious sync. Good name for a band, that. I dedicated my hours to cleaning out the old flat, having boxed and bagged all the stuff of life lived. Once you start cleaning, you realise how much more there is yet to do. I mean, who cleans corners with a toothbrush? Who ever notices little finger marks on big walls, or takes wire wool to the cooker shelves? Well, not me in an ordinary day, but this was not an ordinary day and the landlord will inspect very soon. Leaving a place better than you found it is a golden rule for me. It applies to encounters with people too.
As I walked between the old and the new, carrying buckets or empty boxes for the filling, I thought about this transition and what it represents for the ones moving out and then moving in. As I smiled a welcome to a passer by and received one in return, I wondered if they wondered about me, as I wondered about them. Where is their life lived? Is their home a happy one, their life good and strong, their little dog curled up in his basket, their child at school? All I see is what they show me, in passing. All I show them is the same. What stories could they tell me and I them? Back in the new house with the view across the tidal rip and on towards the ancient hills, I saw geese and ducks fly, gulls and shags skim or dip the waters. In the pines behind me, goldfinches chattered and in the eaves of the house, sparrows built their nests. Everything here is new to the young folk moving in and they are new to everything in return. Together they will learn to move in harmonious sync as the seasons unfurl, as the flowers bring colour to the garden, as the trees fill with nests and the chatter of children. A transition for all and not just one. The shop is now not across the road. Travel to the city is a shorter distance and the neighbours are yet to be discovered. As the moontides ebb and flow, the cycle of life rolls on like a never ending story, as it always did and as it always will.
The ferry travelled me home through spectacular views over a flat calm sea. Few visitors were aboard and I sat on the deck, my face warmed by the sun. This is another transition, I thought. Not only am I traversing wild ocean, ocean in a good mood today, but I am also going back home to my caring role. Various emotions fought for supremacy at that thought. Let it go by, I told myself. Let my heart lift at just this, the wide sky, the call of the gulls, the ancient hills and the Lismore light. Let my heart lift at the thought of my cosy little home, the people in my community, the change in birdsong all around me, the first push of summer colour in the faithful old trees. All that bothers me is dust in the wind so don’t develop it.
I remember once hearing a speaker say that everything comes from fear or love. It made things over-simple, I thought at first, but on deeper reflection, I agree. When I begin to get hot and bothered about a thought or allow myself to develop a worry, I know it is fear taking control. Inside love lie many good things, all good things in fact, and one of them is trust, trust that all is as it should be and that all will turn out for my own happiness, in the end. Possibly long before the end. Who can tell me otherwise? Nobody. Not one living soul. Hanging on to the negative of anything at all, is a waste of living. It blocks the possibles of any situation. If it could go wrong, this situation, this worry, then why on earth could it not go right? Imagining doom and gloom is something we are all good at, and yet what we are doing is buying into fear, fear that does have its place if we are being stalked by a leopard or a serial killer, but not when the object of our fear is only real in our imaginations. Well, hmmm, but this could go horribly wrong, or that. Yes, it could, but it could equally well go wonderfully right. The first is fear driven, the second driven by love.
And it is all in the thinking.