My daughter’s soccer season begins. For the first game, there are clouds, a few drizzles, a rainbow. As I sit on the hard, metal bleachers, raindrops casting irregular shapes on my jeans, I am reminded of how long these games sometimes seem, am reminded of how short childhood really is. Come autumn, I won’t be shifting on uncomfortable bleachers, won’t be scanning the sky for the full arc of a rainbow, won’t be watching my daughter and teammates running across a field. She will be off at college. I’ll be doing something else on a Saturday afternoon. Change.

There is more and more green. Everywhere. I watch the trees bud and unfurl, notice the waves, first these trees, then those, the sycamores the last to fill in. I notice the trees with blossoms, how for a span of days, a week or maybe more, there is pink mottled by green, green mottled by what remains of white, the overlap, the transition from flowers to leaves, from initial to what-is-now, a gradual moving towards summer, towards what we will see for the next five months. Green. Everywhere. Change.

I gather with women in the yoga studio, in online writing circles. We move on the mat or on the page, arcing the body, stretching the heart. What if you place your hands here, what if you support your knees like this? What if you unearth a new idea, or an old one? What color is transformation? Is change a circle, a triangle, a vortex in which we lose control? We explore things in motion, in stillness, pathways in between. Change is constant. Will we surrender?

Now that soccer season is in full swing, the blue water jug is always out, waiting for the next game, the next practice. When my daughter gets home from her evening practices, she leaves the big blue jug on the kitchen table. It sits there every morning after her evening practices, the too-bright cobalt blue and ugly plastic incongruent to my eye. I ask her to remember to clean the jug, to set it on the side counter until the next time, and she says she’ll remember but she doesn’t. I decide to stop reminding her. Each morning after a practice, I take the jug off the table, bring it to the sink, clean it, set it aside. It’s not worth nagging, is inconsequential, really, and come late August, I might feel slightly nostalgic for such an annoyance. Choose your battles, common parenting advice. The blue water jug isn’t a battle I choose to fight, in fact, I want no battles at all. Bigger changes are underfoot, bigger transitions are in the making. I arc my heart in a new direction, a rainbow, circle back to my present moment, two rainbows. I breathe, aware of this mother-grief rising. What-is-now into what-will-follow and what-will-be. Unearth, shift, open. Change.

The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction not a destination.
~ Carl Rogers ~

10 thoughts on “change

  1. Just this week I heard on the radio some soccer practices had been cancelled because of the weather, and I remembered that not long ago this would be a big deal for me, but not anymore, such a relief!
    And yes, sometimes is best to do than ask, kids are always kids, doesn’t matter their age. :)

  2. Love your story. Transitions are difficult, especially when the children are off living their lives.
    Took me a long time to adjust. I was never good with change, but I’m getting better now.
    I’m finally realizing good changes happen too. Like the seasons. Best wishes

    1. Oh Sue, so difficult, eh?! I’m glad that you’re a little more comfortable with it now and that you eventually adjusted to your own experience with your kids. I love what you mentioned about good changes happening too… like the seasons… yes, just like the seasons… absolutely 🌸

  3. I understand what you’re saying MIchelle, and clearly remember that part of my life. You are fortunate to have such a close bond with your daughter. She will be fine…..and so will you.

    Thought of you the other day as I was reading The Midnight Library (not a fan), but there was a line that that screamed *Michelle said this*…………”Never underestimate the big importance of small things”.

    Thank you for all you do. You’re the best.

    1. Thanks for being here, Betty, and for all you’ve reflected. It’s so good to hear from others who’ve experienced this.

      And I love that you thought of me with that line (I was so-so on that book too, though I adore Matt Haig in general). I’m going to write that down with a note about you/your message here. 💗

      I think you’re the best too. xo

  4. Seven years ago I was there – gazing ahead at an empty nest, ‘mother-grief rising’,,, I sense it again, as we prepare for daughter’s wedding in July… so proud, so sad, ‘mother-grief rising’.
    thank you for this post xx

    1. oh Claire, I feel you. You were there too, and now you are here, again… mother-grief rising. The pride, the joy, the love, the bittersweet waves. It’s quite a journey, isn’t it? Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.
      Sending you love, mama… xo


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