Autumn | 2010

Lesson No. 30: Autumn Moves

“Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.” -Arnold Bennett

Flowing with change is a skill and difficult for many of us. William, my 7 year old, was not a big fan of first grade last year. It took him a long time to relinquish the freedom and excitement of kindergarten and most of the year was spent missing the days when he could express himself through art and play. Of course, he had good days, but over all, it was a long and difficult year of transition between holding on to his inner kindergartener and growing to meet the expectations of a first grader. It was a relief when summer finally dismissed school…  

Thankfully, however hard first grade was, William was equally excited to begin 2nd grade this year. Especially since the rumor was that 2nd grade is the best grade in his school.

On the first morning of school last week, he eagerly bounced into class. But… sadly, he came home from school apprehensive. When I asked he said, “School wasn’t as great as everyone said it would be…  I miss first grade…”

Now, I know he did not miss ‘first grade’. But still, my head spun. After a moment of astonishment and some more conversation, I realized that he was longing for the predictability and the comfort of knowing what to expect and what was expected of him. He had finally grew used to first grade and now, he has to let go, all over again.

This is often how change goes for many of us; we don’t know if we’ll like the ‘new’. We resist it; feel sad, nostalgic, anxious or even angry right up to the precipice. But once we cross the threshold, we realize we’re more ready for change than we thought; that we’re actually more nourished by moving forward than holding ourselves back.

I have learned that William takes a bit of time to transition. But he does eventually transition and I’m happy to report, that it happened much quicker this year! In fact, he came home the second, third, fourth, and fifth day – elated with his new class. Totally revved up and excited to participate. Last year he spent a lot of energy resisting change, this year he’s jumping into it. Phew!

And this is how it goes; as the seasons turn - so do we. We must let go, move on, toss out, and conversely, breathe into the new life of the changing rhythms around us and within.