Thursday, December 17, 2009

Big Wheels Keep On Turning

“Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become.”

People always say that the one thing that is always constant is change. I must say that I have never found more truth in these words than right now. I just came home for the holidays. It is the first time I have walked into my house in six months, a long time by most people’s standards. But I was shocked to find how much things had changed since the last time I was here. New pictures were hanging on the wall. One room is completely closed off…unneeded with only two people living here. The rug is gone from the hallway. Even our Christmas decorations are slimmer this year. All changes from what I am used to. And when coming home, I expect to be entering my comfort zone. A place where time has touched nothing. I am finding no place is safe.

As my mom and I drove around town today, I took in all the ways the place I grew up has changed. Once thriving businesses are now boarded up thanks to the sagging economy. New super centers have sprung up to counteract the degradation of the small town business owner. Even the high school traffic has now been pushed back 2 hours in order to maximize bus usage. Everything is built for convenience. Nothing is as it was.

After we dropped a bundle of nativity costumes off at the church, I turned to my mom and made the only comparison I could to the depressing observations.

“I feel like I’m in the movie ‘Back to the Future’ after they go to the future and mess everything up.”

When they get back in the present Biff has taken over and made everything commercial and cheesy and nontraditional and disastrous. Not the way it should be at all.

“I feel like I know the way things should be, and I just need to find a way to get back to the future and fix it all,” I said.

My mom just laughed at my silly comparison and we continued running our errands. But when we got to Wal-Mart and even it (old faithful, trusty, Wal-Mart for crying out loud) was all turned upside down and rearranged to the point where we couldn’t find anything, even she couldn’t help but agree when I chalked it all up to Biff.

But even with everything constantly changing, I still haven’t gotten used to it. I guess with the world spinning as fast as it does these days, I expected to come home and find one thing that was like my own personal time capsule. For now, that place is my bedroom, which remains closed in the months that I am not home. It is, in so many ways, untouched by the hands on time.

I guess this is just one of those lessons you have to learn in life: everything changes. And maybe there is some peace in that, we just have to look closely and find the patience to wait for the change we need.

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