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Change Is Change

A tornado touched down just weeks away from the homestead over the weekend.  On New Year’s Eve, a tornado was spotted over the north side of St. Louis.  The tornado sirens blared.  And instead of just blaring for the familiar few seconds or for a minute or two, the wailing continued for an unusually long time.  It was the type of warning that would send my mom running down the basement stairs as fast as her octogenarian body could take her.  Thankfully she wasn’t at home at the time and spent the holidays visiting family in Texas.  We waited the sirens out and then went about our day safe inside our home as the weather turned pretty severe outside.

It wasn’t until we saw the local news broadcast later that afternoon did we realize how close the twister had come to our home.  If we had known, we could’ve looked out the backdoor and watch the tornado as it raked its angry tail across the neighborhood.  Several housed were severely damaged.  One house was destroyed.  Literally, the winds of change had come and gone.  Change is represented by Oya, the Orisa of the wind.  It’s kind of appropriate that these winds of change manifest on the eve of the day we celebrate as the greatest manifestation of change, New Year’s Day.

Everyone stays up late to usher in the New Year.  A lot of people want to grab some kind of noisemaker, anything from a whistle to a firecracker to a loaded pistol, and does their fair share in the generation of the noise pollution come midnight.  I have to confess that I spent almost the entire day working and couldn’t keep my eyes open past eleven.  The New Year came while I was comatose from slumber.  But I have to admit I didn’t try very hard to stay awake for the occasion.  It was just another day filled with its own set of changes and challenges to be met, celebrated, worked out, experienced, and etcetera.

While a lot of people will celebrate New Year’s as a time of change, we should realize and understand that change is constant.  Change is the only constant in the universe.  It remains the only thing we can depend on with some consistency while everyone, everything else goes through changes.  It doesn’t build to a crescendo at midnight on the last day of December and becomes anticlimactic and less intense come the first day of January.  Change that comes via a twister on New Year’s is no more and no less effective as change that comes by a twister in the middle of June.  Change is as change does.  And while we work hard to control the changes that my happen in our lives, all too often change comes charging through like a bull in a china shop, or a twister through a home.

On New Year’s Day, six people lost their lives because of those twisters.  I think I heard that one person lost their life in Missouri, three people lost their lives in Arkansas, and a couple more from somewhere else.  Hundreds of homes were damaged and hundreds of families were impacted.  As a community, we will absorb these changes.  We who survive will pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and continue on with our lives.  Those who are least impacted or those who can adapt to change more easily will help those who have a harder time letting go of what was or those who have been more severely impacted.  And in the process, hopefully we will learn from the event and take advantage of the change.

As a child of Oya, I have to remember that I have to embrace change and learn to adapt as much as possible.  If anything, this is the lesson that I have learned, or more appropriate re-learned, in the past year.  Change will come and it should be welcomed.  Change is scary.  We don’t always know what is behind the changes.  With change comes the potential for loss and losses can be devastating at times.  But devastating losses can lead to dramatic growth.  How well we can adapt to changes can determine the impact to our lives.  It all depends on how well we can get on with lives.

I don’t mean to sound dismissive or to minimize the all-encompassing effects of change.  Indeed, there will be times I find the changes that are impacting my life unbearable.  But when those days come, I hope to have my family and friends and my spirituality to lean on to help me through the hardships that come with change.  And when dramatic change happens to somebody else in my circle, I hope people will know that I will be there to help them through their changes.  Because just like change is a constant, a community of people going through life as a unit should be a constant as it experiences changes.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011 - Posted by | Life, Thoughts

1 Comment »

  1. Ashe!Ashe!Ashe O!
    Alafiah to you and your Family.

    Comment by Akinwole | Thursday, January 6, 2011 | Reply

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