“The fact is, the sun does not always shine. Gentle breezes can grow into tornadoes. Too much rain can lead to flood, and too much sunshine causes the drought. Life is life – it is what it is. It offers no certainties, except that it will go on with our without you. The sun will rise and set every day. Though clouds obscure your perception and you do not see it coming up and going down, it will do so nonetheless. So do the seasons follow their unerring cycle, waiting for no one or nothing. The seasons turn into years and the years into ages. Neither waiting nor caring if you join them, but never denying your choice to do so. They will go, and so must you because your journey is waiting. And in your journey you will learn reality and balance.”
-Old Hawk from “Keep Going – The Art of Perseverance” by Joseph M. Marshall III
I wanted to blog about this a long time ago because I absolutely love this passage. Unfortunately, I don’t think the reality of it would’ve struck me like it did the other night. Life does go on.
This past Friday, I finally buckled down to go through my crap with the help of my friend Kindra. Old notebooks from college classes, papers from some of my hardest professors. I found folders full of research I’d done on cognitive function, security in Europe, and fair trade in Africa (I studied psychology and communication…and a little globalization in the process).
I found fun stuff too: pictures from those same college days, awards I’d won, memories from high school, from summer camp, trips to Spokane before I lived here, silly little gifts from my Opa, letters from my Oma & Opa…a lifetime of work, joy and pain all boxed up and hidden away.
Reality struck me in the face with a baseball bat that night: 1) my Opa is dead and he’s not coming back. 2) I’m leaving everything I know to go to a land I know nothing about because I feel like God told me to.
I got angry and had a lot of questions about my future. I was awakened to the fact that we can’t stop life from happening…like how the last 10 years have gone by without asking. I definitely shed a few tears in the process. My mom called the next morning and I balled on the other end of the phone listening to her encouragement. She reminded me it’s okay to feel, to grieve, to cry.
The fact is this: I can’t sit here forever, too afraid to step outside my door because it might start raining. My whole life doesn’t exist inside my house. The past is the past and we have to walk away from it to find the future. Walking away involves risk…but risk is inevitable in life as we can only see this moment. The seasons change, the months keep flying by, the days keep moving on…and so must I because the journey is waiting.
My journey is not in those boxes. That was part of where I’ve been, but not where I’m going. Yes, life is hard – change is hard – but it’s also worth every moment of the fun, exciting, intense seasons that come between the hard times. I know that beyond the clouds, the sun is up there shining. I just have to keep walking till the clouds part and I bask in its warmth again.
“We are all afraid of something. But that shouldn’t stop us from going on every day…”
PS – I highly recommend this book if you’re experiencing change or loss of any kind. It’s super encouraging.