Postcards from Impermanence

We’ve had a rough week here.  Our local feed store, Frizelle Enos — the longest, continuous running business here in our little town — was destroyed in a fire.  The store was a local landmark and we’ve spent many happy afternoons there — visiting baby chicks and stocking up on supplies for our animals.  We are deeply saddened by this terrible loss.The fire has my heart/mind turned towards impermanence — how one thing is always changing into another… that the true nature of things is that they’re always in flux.  This is a classical wisdom teaching and reflection upon it is believed to increase our sense of well-being.  Zen teacher and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh writes, “Thanks to impermanence, everything is possible!”How does it work?  By letting go of attachment to things as fixed or unchanging we begin to relate with the world as an interdependent evolutionary process.  We see that we are an inseparable part of a great story unfolding.  We fall in love with the flow.

How can we share this wisdom with our children?  One way is by keeping a seasonal nature table.  This hallmark of Waldorf education invites children to pay close attention to seasonal rhythms — and perhaps even notice their own ever-changing inner-seasons.

By noticing the natural world, we might also see that we’re constantly receiving little postcards from impermanence…

Here are some postcards we’ve recently received:

  • irises in the compost pile
  • the startling sight of our molting chickens
  • clouds shaped like elephants and fire-breathing bunnies
  • threads of gray in mama’s hair
  • green tomatoes ripening to purple in our garden
  • our first sunflowers opening
  • the waxing moon beginning to bulge gibbous  
  • the fire at our beloved feed store

When we open to receiving these little postcards, we allow a deeper meaning to unfold within our lives.  Each moment becomes sacred because we see that it will never come again.  Each experience becomes sweet because we see it arising in relationship with everything else.

What postcards from impermanence have you recently received?  I’d love to hear about them.

With metta,
Chelsea 

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