Change is something that comes at us at all different speeds. Some change happens in a instant. Other times developments modify our course gradually, and it isn’t until we’ve rounded a corner that we notice something is different.
Earlier this fall, I witnessed an unusual change. After coming around the bend in their county road, I noticed a small section of leaves had turned a bright yellow in the tree at the end of my parents’ driveway. Maybe it was the way the sun was shining or the striking difference between the yellow and green, but that one section really stood out.
When I mentioned the yellow spot to Dad, he said, “Yeah, I noticed it too; it looks kind of odd, but I guess all the leaves will be changing soon.”
Funny how we can see changes in the world around us more easily than we see oncoming transitions within our own lives. Often, we find ourselves or a loved one suffering from a serious condition, where there seemed to have been no warning signs. It’s odd how we can’t see the forest for the trees when many symptoms are waving the colors of change right before our eyes.
Right now, my family has fallen into the ranks of waging war with cancer in my father.
Yes, there were little signs that things weren’t quite right with Dad, like his unusual upset stomach at Easter, his more frequent naps, or the newly-found food sensitivity where he hadn’t had issues before. Never did we imagine those hints of trouble would lead us to a diagnosis of colon cancer. Once we eventually convinced Dad to go to the doctor, and had a finite diagnosis, it was like reality had stampeded a color run through our world, and we were splattered with a rainbow of tests, surgeries, chemotherapy, medications, and side effects. Who knew the colors of change could be so extreme?
No matter how vivid the outcome of life’s transitions, we have to have hope and faith in our ability to create an outlook that is full of love, compassion, growth, and hopefully some humor. We don’t always know what to expect, but there is always a way to bring about progress through our efforts and intents. We can paint new paths with positive energy and optimism.
I’m won’t tell you that every day is going to be rosy and bright, and transitions can appear dark and tinted with sadness, but we have to realize that some adjustments take time. And sometimes, the need to take time feels like failure. Failure can make us feel blue.
So as we go through winter and nature’s loss of color, we have to find ways to keep our outlook bright. Remember that those barren trees have faith they will regain their colorful foliage someday, and you will flourish again as well. As for my Dad, we are gonna keep loving him through this tough patch and believing in better days to come. These struggles have allowed us to find bright spots in our time together, caused our relationships to strengthen, and our lives have become richer because of these colors of change.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. What color is happiness to you?