Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Teresa of Avila, 16th C. Spanish saint
ALLOW LIFE TO SOUND ITS CHANGES
The poet Roger Housden comments on Teresa' s words, ‘to accept deeply that all things are passing is to allow life to sound its changes as it must, without clinging to some anchor in the temporal world, whether it be our looks, a relationship, work, or position in the world.’ There are lots of beginnings and endings in life, we seem to collect them whether we like it or not - a bewildered array that travel at surprising speeds; frustratingly slow and frighteningly fast.
My thoughts drift towards children and I wonder about their sense of beginning and end, about their tendency to take things as they are, their ability to be with what is and then let it slip away and move on. I read that our ability to play, to let go of our ego centred lives, to move away from our conscious goals, is crucial to the developmental tasks of the second half of life*. I wonder then, Is there a need to rejuvenate play in our adult world? What might this play look like? What might this mean for the balance of elements that are in our day and our week?
Maybe you could start now just by looking at the various children in this picture.
* Mid-life directions: Praying and playing, sources of new dynamism, Anne Brennan and Joyce Brewi