One of us lives on the east coast. One of us lives on the west.

One of us lives in a rural community. One of us lives in a city.

Both of us wander. Both of us witness. Both of us write.

This is a record of what we find.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

I need to be reminded that things change right about now. As February shivers on, and the temperature hovers around 0 degrees Fahrenheit, and the ice-crusted snow remains up to the top of my thighs…well, you get the picture. I am oh-so-stiff from the cold, and also from the static landscape that surrounds me.

(And I am only talking about external factors here. I could go on and on about the internal ones too. But I won’t!)

My friend, Lisa, gave me the reminder I needed though. After cross-country skiing around the field at the end of our road, we stood for a moment, the wind whipping across our faces, freezing our foreheads, practically penetrating our brains. We looked back at the field. I complained about the dizzying sameness of it all. But Lisa reminded me that underneath all that snow is a corn field. So in the spring it will be planted. And then the corn will grow. And summer will come. And then the corn will be harvested. And fall will arrive. And then the field will be plowed and tilled in anticipation of the next growing season. And all the while I will ski, then run, then ski again around its vast perimeter.

So the external landscape stays the same, yes. But it also changes. And it does these things in a fluid and organic way. Those two truths provide a sense of safety and a sense of hope. I am reminded of one of my new favorite books Tall Story by Candy Gourlay. A boy travels from the Philippines to England to be with his family. In his case, it is his internal landscape that both changes and stays the same.

How do I achieve the same inside of myself?

Tam Smith

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