I would like to say there is a freshening wind blowing from the sea, but the truth is that a hot, dry Santa Ana wind is bending the trees and parching my skin. The temperature is in the 90s. The air conditioner has kicked in, and I’m perched at the dining room table, thinking about change.
One thing I do as I age is check the weather app on my phone at least three times a day. It’s not like I cannot look out the window and see what is happening. I guess what I want is to grab on to some predictability in the future, if only in the weather. And so a quick glance at the app tells me that the hot weather will break in two days. Well, all I can say is thank God for air conditioning and a change in the wind.
Change affects us in so many and unexpected ways, from pandemics and sweeping social change to small changes in our everyday lives. Then there are all those incremental changes—these are the ones that can creep up on you like a bad pair of underwear.
We are living in a time of major social change. I believe that we will see more community-based policing that reflects the motto “To protect and to serve” emblazoned on so many police vehicles. People of all races and nationalities received a wake-up call in response to the brutal murder of George Floyd. Let us all remember that mercy and justice go hand in hand.
The stay-at-home order in response to the corona virus was a change so vast it caught us all off guard. But being home brought us time to do things we thought we didn’t have time to do before. Many people chose to get a new animal companion because, let’s face it, no one else loves us quite so unconditionally or is ready to comfort us anytime—day and night. Soon, animal shelters were emptied and puppies are still being sold at a premium by breeders.
John and I were in line to get two puppies in December, but through the grace of God, two good-sized litters, and a kind breeder, our puppies came sooner. Last Friday, Red Ted Teddy (who was born on my grandson James’s birthday) and Sadie Lu became the latest in a long list of dachshunds to become Chamberlin canines. I cannot tell you what joy (and hard work) these two have brought us. That our lives have changed in yet another way is an understatement.
An incremental change for me was inspired by a day of reckoning. While we sheltered at home, I had been doing a lot of baking and cooking, attired primarily in my stretchy pants and T-shirts. You cannot trust stretchy pants. Then one day I decided to step on the scales. My whole life passed before me. No matter how much I adjusted the dial or leaned to the right or left, the scales persisted in telling an ugly story. Even slamming them on the garage floor didn’t change the fact that I had gained several pounds. So I went on a great cutting-back. (I don’t diet—ever.) Tomorrow, I go for my annual physical 7 pounds lighter. There is a bag of chips and some pistachio ice cream waiting for me when I come home.
I know the old saying is that the only things certain in life are death and taxes. But I think the only thing certain in life is change. If you don’t believe me, look in a magnifying mirror. Look back at New Year’s Eve 2020. Look out the window and watch the clouds scuttling across the sky.
So, my friends, hang on! Hope is riding on the wind, and positive change is in the air. I’m reminded of the lyrics to a song you might recognize: “The air is humming, and something great is coming!” (West Side Story, “Something’s Coming,” by Jim Bryant and Marni Dixon)