They seemingly appear from nowhere, these gangly tall, leafless, pink wonders. One minute you're enjoying summer, and the next minute fall is just around the corner. It's our annual reminder of time flying.
I am probably not the only one that feels a twinge of sadness when these beauties dot the Northern California hillsides. Maybe it's because summer is my favorite time, and I always hate to see it go. The closing of a chapter. Another summer put to bed. Yet these same graceful stalks herald a new beginning for some. While I mourn the passing of the longest days of the year, others wait with eager anticipation the coming of turkey and pie and the unboxing of holiday ornaments.
Anticipation can be a wonderful thing -- especially if it involves a vacation. And though it can devalue the present moment, it is nearly impossible to avoid. It is particularly easy to do when the present moment is less than optimal, like when you're feeling sick, listening to your colleague drone on and on about how great he/she is, or finding yourself on the wrong bus going in the wrong direction. One could safely describe these as sub-optimal moments, moments that make it easy to drift back to a happier time, or forward with anticipation of the next great thing.
No one wants to sit with sadness, or pain, or misery. No one. And yet, as human beings, this is something we must do because it is part of our life. And though we may not do it perfectly, it is worth doing it as best we can because it inevitably leads to some truth about ourselves. And when we stumble and fall, we must allow ourselves to simply start again.
So many things in life require a reboot -- from athletic training (as we've seen in the Olympics recently), to new careers, to new relationships.
There is no shame in starting over. Happily, we get a chance to do it every moment of every day.