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What tomorrow brings....

Life is about transitions.  The only constant is change, and not the kind under the couch cushions. From birth to death and everything in between, the mundane and the special mix into our lives and always offer lessons to the observant. 

Even though it is still August, I can feel the Autumn nip in the air at night.  Changes and transformation are everywhere: first days of school, last semesters of college, birthdays, anniversaries, new lives, new opportunities appear, and yet everyday life goes on.  Laundry, meals, yard work, meetings & classes, wakefulness and sleep, breathing in and breathing out. "A time to every purpose under heaven," as the song says.  The regular old rhythms of life continue, punctuated by surprising changes and events.

Take this week for example.  I spent Monday in courtroom in support of a young  man being re-tried for a very serious crime.  By Tuesday morning, he had been acquitted and was suddenly home after ten years in prison.  What transition, a change, a challenge; what a gift of new life.

On Wednesday, just as our department welcomed new and returning  students with advice, reminders and tacos, a dear friend gave birth to a healthy new daughter: more new life & possibilities.

Our university is on the brink of our 100th year, my grad school alma mater (Ohio State) is about to celebrate its 150th. 

Personally, this weekend marks the celebration of 20 years of marriage for my wife & I.  These are personal and institutional milestones we should celebrate even as all of the minutia of everyday life surround and engulf us.

It is like the flip side of grief. Someone dies, and life goes on for everyone else, and adjustments simply must be made.  Only in this case, the blessing of a new person or event or opportunity appears in one's life, and life also goes on for everyone.  And adjustments also must be made.

Either way, it is good to pause.  Pause to appreciate what has been and is no more.  Pause to appreciate what wasn't yet, and now is there.  Pause to breathe and  celebrate and adjust to the newness, the "now," the present moment, and look around at the people and blessings to be savored in gratitude and joy.

Because tomorrow brings more mundanity, more humanity, and more change.  Even the kind from under the couch cushions.  Dig it out, count it up, and use it buy someone a celebratory beverage, or tip a server, or donate it to a cause as you and yours share gratitude for life's surprises, life's changes, both big and small.

Enjoy your friends & family, and be both grateful and safe this Labor Day weekend as we mark the summer's end!

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