I’ve been experiencing the truth of impermanence recently.
We’re leaving on a driving trip in two weeks, and the head gasket has chosen this time to start leaking. We’re having friends stay at our house while we are gone, and the front door lockset has chosen to fail.
We were spreading a new layer of gravel on our paths and realized that one of the trees have grown so much that they intrude on the path. It was either cut the tree or move the path; we moved the path. Meanwhile, other hedges were intruding on other paths; those we trimmed back severely.
As I think about our house, yard and gardening, our efforts seem to be all about either coping with change or creating change. Nothing ever stays the same. Plants grow, bloom, and are harvested. Others bloom, fruit, and die back or break from excess fruit or snow on the branches. Soil wears out and needs to be enhanced.
Even the gravel disappears over time, and rocks are overgrown and broken up.
Part of our bluff sluffed off in the last year with a slide towards the beach that almost overtops the bulkhead.
On our trip, we’ll be going to Utah and visiting Arches National Park. One of the arches I want to see has fallen and is no longer. The trail to another arch has been rerouted because parts of that arch have flaked off in recent years. In Canyonlands, what I once knew as rough, four-wheel drive roads are now paved and usable by any vehicle. In Yosemite, part of a campground has been closed because rock slides have been falling on it.
My weight goes up and goes down. Health changes, sometimes for the worse and sometimes for the better. Emotional states are transient; none are permanent. Relationships change—some relationships last a long time, others a shorter time, but they all change constantly. Some changes happen slowly (rocks erode), others occur very quickly (emotional states). Even changes to rock are visible in a single lifetime.
Nothing stays the same. I literally cannot think of anything unchanging in my experience.
Some changes we respond to—the car and front door will get fixed this week. Some we note but there’s no action to take—an arch falling or the bluff slipping.
But whether we react or not, nothing stays the same.