by Kari Diane Pike
Change. Isn't that an interesting word? We can change our clothes, our minds, and even make change. I've changed countless diapers over the years. The seasons change. The earth is in a constant state of change. Lightening strikes and the landscape changes in a flash. The wind blows fine grains of sand against mighty mountains and over centuries creates magnificent granite monuments. Life changes come about in a similar way. Some are gradual, giving me time to adapt and accept them. Others jump in front of me and make alter my course so fast I almost drive off the edge.
One of the things I miss most living in the Sonoran Desert is changing seasons. I grew up in the northwest mountains of Montana. I loved watching the colors on the mountains change: trees budding, blooming, bearing fruit, changing color, dropping their leaves, and then everything wiped clean and fresh and white and starting over again. We have seasons where I live now. I call them hot, hotter, and the whiny season, aka, "Isn't it ever going to cool off?" or "If it doesn't cool off by October 15th, I'm putting contracts out on all the weathermen."
I used to love change. Change held the promise of adventure and learning something new. Change introduced me to fascinating people, interesting foods, and new perspectives. I delighted (and continue to delight) in watching my children grow and learn and change. I never tired of witnessing their first words, first steps, and first days of school. Then something happened.
My children had the nerve to leave home.
At first, it was exciting. They kept coming back. I enjoyed the comings and goings. But then they got married. Don't get me wrong. I love the eternal companions they chose. I find great joy in watching their own families grow. And yet, I've launched each child with less and less enthusiasm. Nine children and thirty-six years later, our metaphorical nest is about to be empty. This is the one change that I have truly dreaded.
Until now. A couple of weeks ago we drove north to Utah and Idaho to help take care of grandchildren and spend some time with our adult children. They taught me how to milk a goat and introduced me to butterscotch soda (butter beer). We watched movies when we wanted, signed up on the spur of the moment for the Temple to Temple 5K run/walk and attended the temple.
If I still had dependent children, I wouldn't have been able to these things nearly so easily, if at all. I'm still not thrilled by the idea of an empty nest, but now I can see the upside. I love getting to know my children as adults. I love witnessing how they have all become unique individuals, while at the same time continue to value the most important things--faith in our Savior Jesus Christ and family.They are magnificent.
I'm going to change my heart and embrace this change. New and exciting things are about to happen and I can't wait to see what they are! Life is magnificent.