The winds shift. Rocks crumble. Stars go out. The universe changes whether we like it or not. It’s the law of nature. The demand of fate. Something must go wrong for things to finally go right.
What, then, of that time before change? Oh, I’m not talking about darkness and reigning chaos of the old ages. I speak of that moment, that instant before the tides turn. The suspension of the pendulum before the clock strikes 12, and the stillness between inhale and exhale.
Because that is what the present is, you see. Right now. We live in that fleeting moment of hesitation. As I watch my sister pack for college, summer homework deadlines creep closer and big words hang over my head. Words like standardized testing, college, leadership, expectations, and driver’s license. All this looming doom and nothing to show for it except tan lines and dog-eared books.
I can feel it, though. My family, we’re hovering. Waiting. Like the cattails. It’s mid-July and I’ve yet to see the cattails pop. As if we’ve wasted too much time. Waited too long. In consequence, everything will suddenly change one day, one day soon, and there will be no stopping it. My family will be short a member, my classes harder, my tests longer and more arduous, and limits tested.
I can hope that everything turns out fine. I can pray that we come out stronger at the other end. However, the fact is, I’m not sure. I’m not sure my sister won’t take the wrong train and get stuck somewhere. I’m not sure unemployment won’t strike my family and friends again. I’m not even sure I’ll ever be able to set the table for two, instead of three.
So much uncertainty. I don’t think I’m alone in this leaning-over-a-cliff feeling. We sense that change is imminent, and believe me, we best be ready for when she comes—because fate is sometimes a rolling stone but more often an avalanche. All I can do, all any of us can do, is either brace ourselves or grab a snowboard and ride the wave. Either way, we are at the mercy of forces we don’t understand. We can only hope to emerge from the storm, blinking the dust away, and take in our new world with humbled and open hearts.
We don’t ever know what’s next. Fate can bring the game-changer that will rock your world tomorrow, or 10 years from now.
I just have two words for that mysterious force of change.