The Pendulum Swings

Sometimes we can feel like we're stuck and not moving anywhere.  Everywhere we look it feels like others have it all together, and are pushing past us.  

This morning I took a walk in my neighborhood, with no agenda but to see my community.  Along the way, I saw beautifully manicured lawns and flower beds where people clearly had a vision of what they wanted - and then someone executed it.  There it was, for all of us to  appreciate.  

As I walked a little further, I passed a yard that I particularly love each spring and summer.  The bed is chiseled into the side of a hill, replete with tree roots and large rocks, and so the gardener has to fight a good fight to arrange the perennials in little clusters around all the obstacles.  They need to be constantly weeded and nurtured, to be able to survive and thrive.  This particular summer, the bed is overgrown and unwieldy.  The usual splashes of well thought-out color are absent, and the bed looks lonely and uncared for.  Its owner, we assume, must have other more important needs to attend to and demands requiring their nurture and care.  And so it lies, vacant and still ... waiting. 

As I looped around my route and was just a few houses from my own, I passed by a house the neighborhood kids say is haunted.  It has been vacant for the 20 years I have lived on this block.  The physical embodiment of a bitter legal dispute, the structure has deteriorated over the years, quite literally crumbling before our eyes.  

But as I passed, I did a double take when I saw the front stoop.  Normally, the crumbled concrete steps spilled over all the way to the curb, crunching under your feet in snow and ice.  Now, in its place lay three smooth, new concrete steps.  One small effort by someone who had a vision, and then executed it, making a statement of hope against the backdrop of decay.

And so everyone is on their own journey, at their own pace.  It may be time to tend your garden or stoop, or it may not be.  It's important that we be ok with that.  The challenge of the pandemic has emphasized to me that change happens.  And we can choose how to meet change, at our own pace and in our own ways.  And I'm ok with that.  

And the pendulum swings back and forth.

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