When The Dude and I were dating, it was a long distance relationship. We saw each other every other weekend. It wasn’t ideal. I hated the good-byes. I hated the waiting for the hello’s. I hated the waste of time that sleeping was when we were together. It has to be one of the few times in my life I have hated change. It felt like I was living in the bit just before Spring comes, without Spring ever actually coming. Until I moved up to be with him, of course. (Let’s just be clear, I loved the times when we were together – that’s what made the rest of the time so hard to take. And this is all with hindsight. It probably wasn’t that bad in the actual living of it.)
I have always embraced change, because it is in an opportunity to experience something different. And different means learning, and learning is good (unless, of course you learn the wrong lesson. I’ve done that too). And I come from a country that experienced the most phenomenal change. I love that for all the other things that remain broken about South Africa, there is something beautifully fixed that was broken before.
But my favourite change? It’s when winter starts relenting its grip. It doesn’t look like it at first – there is still ice, and frost, and snow. The wind still strips your skin from your nose and people still walk around with only their eyes peeping from behind woollen scarves and hats. Winter has done its work – stripping everything back to its bare essentials. Trees hide inside bare branches, hoping their roots are strong enough to withstand the storms. People huddle inside their homes, making soup and remembering this too shall pass. And in the winter of the soul, we see who we truly are. And if we are brave, we decide some branches just need to go, some things just need to be sorted out, once and for all. And we burn up the wasteful things to provide us with the heat to get through the last little bit of the cold.
And then the change creeps in. The sun shines through your window a little earlier. You see a tiny optimistic bud on a tree. Snowdrops – actual flowers! – begin to bloom. Birds perk up, the snow turns to rain. But sometimes, when the sun shines, you can turn your face heavenward and know the worst is over, it is time to start again. To build again.
And that is why I like change.