The passage of time can be relative.
There are exactly six full blooming deep red roses in my garden right now, a delightful salute to life, as I move over from another another significant past twelve months. They are especially captivating, with many elegant folds in each rose, an usually bright countenance and a magical moment about them.
The extreme dry conditions for most of the past several months, apart from a recent spate of persistent rain, have devastated the lawn. Some individuals whom I am close to have had a variety of life's issues, but they still wake up each morning with a gusto to face the new day. Some of them have created new opportunity for themselves despite the challenge, hassle and personal devastation. Yet some others are in the prime of life, planting as much for the unpredictable future as much as they can and relentlessly moving forward, as if impregnable.
Just like the weather may do to us, each of us can be kept on our toes by a variety of personal experiences. What can seem over bearing at first sight can free up our mindsets in managing the different scenarios. A few hassles can make us fed up at the attacks on the status quo in our lives - and then this experience can make us take flight in our inner selves and assume a different posture to over come the problem. In so doing, the interim problem does not become an issue anymore, but liberates us to better take care of ourselves.
Our human make up can be complex, but has better potential than most of us take credit for. Healing can occur not by the intake of artificially made stuff alone, but by seemingly intangible influences such as shared laughter, friendship, faith, mutual conversation, someone opening his or heart to you and other natural processes of detoxification.
Beliefs built up in us by the norms of society - especially in commercialisation, consumerism, reduction in morals, distraction and rise of various forms of addiction - are increasingly challenged by each of us, as the levels of trust in established institutional practices are eroded.
If we reflect, do we still have as much faith as before in our medical practitioners; our religious institutions; our political leaders; our fellow vehicle drivers on the road we share with; the value of financial currency; the quality of our purchases of produce and products; the reliability of our white goods in the house; the integrity of our privatised providers, as for utilities and airports; our own ears, with the onslaught of media over load from people and parties with their own agendas; and the security of our own personal information, given the more regular corporate confession of privacy breaches?
At the same time, I remind myself of the gratitude in apparently smaller things..... the tank fish are still alive, I have not had a vehicle tyre puncture for another year running, we are reducing the use of frivolous plastic, darling doggies still show us unconditional love, the food allocation system in our community has not broken down as in Venezuela and my neighbours still communicate with each other. And I can still leave on-line purchased parcels at my front door, with no one stealing them.
Yet in our attempts to exercise more gratefulness, how does one handle deaths, emphatically negative people and parties that seem to communicate less with you than ever before?
Death for biological beings like us is part of the cycle of life, an all encompassing event like the shelf life expiry of supermarket items, not an option but an inevitable landmark that can indicate a significant transformation beyond a physical demise. For me, the importance of a human being is what memory he or she retains in the rest of us, a process more meaningful to interact with when the person is alive.
When it is so much easier to communicate with each other, there is a growing impression that there is actually less meaningful communication happening. What an irony, what a conundrum. Persons who do not take the effort to communicate with me may have their own issues and I can only try. It is a blessing to not have to deal with individuals who show such negativity that they do not even realise this.
In a world of increasing physical mobility, I come across more individuals travelling more often. Increasing communicative ability in cyberspace means we can look at images created only a minute ago. I sense the positive feelings of people finding themselves far away from their usual base and rejoice in their excitement. Many come back from a holiday to go away again. The network of airlines, agents, organisers, restaurants, accommodation outlets and guides is growing fast in a sector that provides for cruises, private tours, commission related incentives and more. The holiday trade has customers who need to explore, get away and keep occupied.
Yet I get a more intense glow of comfort eating at my favourite ramen stall (Gumshara in Haymarket NSW), walking along a river (Port Macquarie) somewhere far out from an over burdened city and observing the signs of the change in the seasons in a countryside village (between Canberra and Goulburn NSW). I have over utilised the joys of a share economy in the past year. I continue to appreciate the detailed art of a barista made cup of coffee in my home town. Not to forget, munching on a packet of naked corn chips laced with quinoa, chia and sorghum. To each, his or her own pleasures,
In the past year I have come to understand better the traditional saying of accepting what cannot be changed, changing what cannot be accepted and accepting the power of change as well.
Some books remain not read, what had been de-cluttered are replaced with more clutter and then it finally dawns on me that human beings are creatures of habit. It can be crucially the habits in our mind that we have to purposefully change to better ourselves and our experience of life.I realise instinctively the pace and nature of our cycles on Earth. The roses are at the top of their game right now, but the only certainty in life is constant change. And as sure as they will fade, new buds will grow on the very same stem.
And so be it, as one can embrace life fully, making it happen, responding wisely and being always grateful for the journey.