I awoke today to a message from a dear friend that I have not heard from in quite some time. He is someone that represents in my mind all that is good and beautiful from another time and place, another life. Although this other life was a mere four years ago, it seems like another lifetime entirely. In his message he reminisced about those days and all the good times we shared, and there were many. His words made me smile, and they brought a tear. A good one. So much has happened from that time to now. Since then we have both been through intense, sometimes gut wrenching heart ripping, relationships. We have both weathered the incomparable storm of break ups from them. Our lives now have new sights and sounds. They have new rhythms. We have new friends. We have moved. And we have moved on.
As I read my friend’s words today, I was transported back to that other life we shared, one so far removed from my here and now. And then, I was taken back further. I was taken to a time in my childhood, to a day I sat in my school desk and watched my fourth grade science teacher’s time lapse reel-to-reel film of a growing pea plant. She had made the film for us over the summer and treated us to it on our first day back to school. In that moment, one that would impact me in many ways throughout my life, I sat riveted. I watched in awe as this tiny seedling sprouted and stretched upward, its contours changing as she moved it toward and away from the sun. My little ten year old mind was blown away. I was struck by the action and reaction of it all. For every new condition presented to it, this little life responded. For just a few intimate moments that day I had panoramic vision into an aspect of life that escapes our every day micro view of it. I was watching time lapse images of growth, and I was also watching time lapse images of change. They were one in the same. While not all change necessarily involves growth, by its very essence, its very nature, any process of growth IS change.
I was reminded of that today. Like that reel-to-reel of the pea plant years ago, as I read my friend’s words I replayed a similar time lapse video in my mind. I watched the last four years of my life sped up to just fleeting seconds. In fast motion I saw the process, the growth spurt, we have both been through these last few years. I smiled. Growth is good. And I thought, not for the first time, about how all good things come at a cost. Sometimes that cost is no more than a trade off of some kind, one that is easy, even welcomed. But at other times, the cost is a little discomfort. Sometimes it’s a pain down to our bones. But eventually, because change is the only constant, our discomfort passes, as it evolves into…….something else.
My friend and I have both experienced growth pains of Change. Or, as I prefer to see it, we have both been through change pains of Growth. Like the pea plant we must sometimes writhe and twist through change pains as we grow, as we reach, as we become. Reading my friend’s words today reminded me of this. And through a little tear, I smiled, for all is as it should be.