Change is the constant, yet life confronts me and I am dragged forward. Many times over.
Sometimes, change has been desirable, a God send, a true breath of fresh air long overdue.
Other times change was more brutal. It swept me off my feet and left me desolate, devastated, unable and unwilling to move on. I thought I could beat it and tried desperately to hang onto the past, but sadly, it’s inevitability ensured change was the victor.
I remember so clearly the day my son graduated from Junior School. His friends, the brotherhood, united anticipating this momentous occasion. When it was time for their goodbye, devastation hit the decks. Heartfelt tears rolled forward as they clung onto each other, their young souls aching.
As I watched from a distance and felt their pain one slow minute after another, I knew that they were fearful.
They were now stepping into the unknown, fearful of a future without their friends close by. Sorrowful at the loss of their past and resistant to accept the change that was closing a chapter in their lives, never to be re-lived.
With age, comes wisdom.
Once gone, there is no possible way to physically replicate the past. Essentially, it’s like trying to move forward, when one is walking backwards. It just doesn’t happen. But it is never lost—and it’s within this epiphany that they key to letting go is hiding.
For life is forever evolving, isn’t it? Change stares us in the face almost every day.
For me, circumstances changed and friendships changed with the cycle of life whether I liked it or not. People sauntering in, people fading out, each and every one of them serving a purpose. All playing a part in my journey of life.
Over the years, reflection has brought me to the realization that some will walk with us for a while and then part as they discover their own path. There are those that will take great pleasure in filling our path with obstacles and confusing signage, in a desperate need for us to lose our way and walk “their” journey.
Yet it never really feels right though does it, “Their Journey?”
Like a square peg in a round hole; others leave but a tiny footprint in the sand, one of pure perfection and endearment, a fleeting visit but an impression all the same.
There are those that catch a ride on our backs. We carry them, but they weigh us down, and we slowly sink into the depths of the sand until we shake them off and we are light again.
Some will come screaming up behind us, with limitless energy and a secret promise of tomorrow. They offer us a box of exhilaration and excitement to take on our Journey—a welcome change to our seemingly mundane path. So we snatch it like an excited child, only to find it is empty, and they are gone.
Many are ghosts in the night, crossing our path stealthily and instantly vanishing, their images too faint to make a memory.
Then there are the keepers.
The ones who lay down a thousand lamps so that we may see.
The ones whose fingertips are laser beams, showering infinite rays of color over our journey.
The ones who blow the cool breeze our way when we swelter.
The ones who stand back when we need to run.
The ones who hold our hands when the path becomes rocky.
The ones who carry us when we are bleeding.
The ones who get back up, when we push them away.
The ones whose arms are there when we reach out.
The ones who see the real us, regardless of our disguise.
The ones whose footprints remain,
Throughout the billowing storm,
Beside ours, until all the pieces have been placed and the puzzle is complete.
Here comes the epiphany. I have found, that the key to letting go, is in knowing that those who have walked beside me at some stage of my journey are never really lost, but alive in my memory; always available to visit in my most treasured place; their footprints a permanent fixture in the sand—never washed away and never forgotten. Memories solidified, like letters set in stone.
So in times of change and uncertainty, I always try to turn around and face my path. I look for the keepers that will always be there, patiently waiting to take my hand and shed light on the path ahead. And I look for the beloved footprints behind me, taking comfort in the fact that they can never be erased.
They will always be part of my life, and they will always be a part of my journey.
Together we travel towards wisdom.
Author: Nicole Martin
Apprentice Editor: Lulu Trevena/ Editor: Alli Sarazen
Image: L’Orso Sul Monociclo