By Jessica Noble
The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about changing seasons is the unique beauty that each season in nature brings. I am one who never wants to miss out on something good, so the work and change it may take to get there is always worth it in the end. Perhaps the beauty in nature’s seasonal changes is the reason why the concept of change brings hope-filled anticipation when change itself is usually very challenging.
Out of Our Comfort Zones
Why is change so challenging and difficult to embrace? Change always upsets at least one applecart and takes most of us out of our comfort zones. It can also take away our sense of control and autonomy. For me, as with many others who have additional challenges, change also typically upends ways that we have found to successfully navigate through everyday activities.
My challenges are muscle control, and I have found that the more routine I have, the more muscle groups can settle into “memorized patterns” that I don’t have to think about. When places become familiar, I quickly memorize a few main things that prepare me for how to balance, such as how hard to push or pull each door and how slick or rough the flooring is. I also learn where people typically are so that I can prepare myself for interaction, asking or sensing how they are doing, and asking if they need anything.
However, when change happens, it feels like my nicely running operation turns into a several hundred ring circus where muscles do not anticipate what they should be doing until I find or develop patterns for them. This takes away from my awareness of what is happening around me, unless I know the people involved on a personal level. Even though developing new patterns is not my favorite part of the process, you could say it is the “winter” of inner preparation and everything settling down so new things can spring forth, grow and become beautiful!
Nature’s Changing Seasons
If you think of change like the changing seasons in nature, it can be quite beautiful! The warmth of summer, or of something familiar, gives way to cooling temperatures that bring forth the beautiful autumn colors of golds, oranges, reds and purples. As the leaves fall from the trees and those familiar things lose their efficacy and become bare, the once vibrant colors change to greys, and browns with spots of color here and there, giving winter its own beauty. Winter may seem dark and dead, but deep down in this apparent shutdown, change is certainly taking place. Life is preparing to spring forth into an abundance of new life, new growth and new opportunities for beauty to shine!
Nature often paints a picture for situations in life, and in this instance, the changing of summer to autumn to winter to spring and back to summer again shows the necessity of change for life and growth. It also shows how change needs to be consistent. If temperatures start cooling and then spike for a few days, many trees will seem confused and their leaves less vibrant as they change. Similarly, in the spring as temperatures begin to rise and then there is a freeze or two, or temperatures rise too quickly, many plants will not flower and gardens may have less produce.
Change is essential for growth, and good change with strategic consistency brings new opportunities and freedom, making it something to look forward to in spite of the challenging aspects.