Ebb and Flow, Hills and Valleys
Ebb & Flow. My Mom called it Hills & Valleys. It's all those changes of life. I think with either metaphor we tend to assign positive/negative value. Actually, when my Mom spoke of Hills & Valleys she was referring to the normal ups & downs in a relationship. And oh boy, isn't that the truth? But looking at it from a broader sense, it applies to the natural rhythms & stages of life too, doesn't it? Or even daily life.
So really it refers to the inevitable changing of, well, everything. And inevitably the changes are going to feel positive or negative. Good or bad.
Take for instance Spring. If you've read my other blogs, you know how much I love & crave spring. I love it from the very first signs, relishing that it's just the start & I still have all of it to look forward to. My problem is I don't want to let it go. I don't want it to mature into summer so fast. And oops, there's the "problem" - that word "crave" - call it suffering in the language of the Buddha. I "crave" Spring. I do! Especially at the end of a long winter. And I certainly don't want it to leave. It can be a pretty intense longing.
Well that's just one example of any object of "craving" or "longing". It's a human thing. You long for it to come, you cling to it & hang on for dear life, & grieve for its loss when it changes. Because it always does, right? Regardless of whether it's the earth cycling through its seasons, a relationship cycling through its hills & valleys, or your physical body cycling through its aging process. It's the Ebb & Flow.
Getting back to the positive/negative thing - there's no doubt change usually feels one way or the other. But when it feels bad, perhaps there doesn't have to be suffering (grasping, clinging, longing) involved. Perhaps allowing what's changed with grace instead of clinging to what is no more would feel better. Or if it's something that feels good, to allow its changes too, rather than expecting it to always be just that good.
It's All Good
Children & animals have it figured out. I was always amazed how the tiny preemies I took care of in the NICU would cry when it hurt, and stop when it didn't. But we grow, we change. We get more complex & we learn to anticipate, have expectations, desires, & to cling. Not all bad... until we suffer with it. Then the task at hand is to unlearn all those habits of hanging on. Consciously.
I'm finding as I cycle through these later stages of my life, that it's really a relief to allow changes. All that resisting is exhausting! Those 'holding on' habits that have gone on this long are tenacious at best, but little by little I can let go. Little by little I can recognize what I am resisting & feel the relief when I let go.
So now June is here. The spring flowers are giving way to the summer flowers. The animals are getting down to the business of raising their young. The morel mushrooms are done. But... Huckleberries! The huckleberries of summer are coming! Oh Happy Day.
Huckleberry Summers with the Twin Fellow Flowers
Thanks for listening to my musings. Hope you enjoyed the pictures!