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No Hellos Without Good-byes

Yesterday my whole family got into the cab and drove off to go to the airport without me. There have been countless times when I have taken the kids on adventures, some down the street, some across the country, it’s usually me taking them. But here I was standing in the spot my husband usually is in, blowing kisses from the street while squinting to catch a glimpse of a waving hand through the reflections in the rear window.

I’ve been away from my kids before, but this was different. I could feel a major paradigm shift, a turning of a chapter happening. It literally felt like the earth was lurching deep down in its crust beneath me. Have you ever had one of those moments? A point in time when there is the before that point and after. Like a BC and AD in your own storyline.

I’ve had it happen before but usually around a major transition, like when I lost my mother or first gave birth. This was a relatively minor event. What I suspect of this shift is that the days of my constant presence with my children is ending, and from this point I will be traveling for work quite often, taking me away from them a lot more. There’s the excitement of the dream I’ve held for years to bring meditation to people who so desperately need it in the darkest of corners around the world finally starting to take shape, and then the tightening around my throat at the thought of all the scout meetings, dance performances, and moments of looking for rollie-pollies in the yard with Adrian that will happen without me.

That’s the thing about change. There is nothing new without taking the place of something else. There are no hellos without good-byes. And those things, times and people we say good-bye to, well, sometimes we don’t want to. They can be so wonderful and divine and you just want to scream at the clock to just stop ticking so you can behold them for a second before it all goes away.

We talk in our group meditations all the time about how change is all that’s ever happening, it’s the only constant, and how suffering comes from resisting change. I know this, I teach this, and I don’t resist. But I also welcome time taking my heart and cracking it like a coconut on a rock over and over again, opening it a little bit more each time.

Embracing change for me means embracing all of it. Not just looking forward at the shiny horizon but acknowledging with reverence all that beauty as it takes its evanescent final bow.

And in that way, it feels in some measure, I get to take it all with me.



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