A few weeks ago, I was sitting at a coffee shop enjoying an afternoon salad. As I sat there, I noticed how the light was coming through the window and falling on a plant in a jar of water. I was intrigued with the combination of budding and decaying leaves. And I have always been drawn to this plant’s mix of colors. So I sat there staring at it and started to take a few photos with my iPhone. (Which do you like the best?) As I shot a few angles, I started thinking about change. Changes in this plant. Changes in the world around me. Changes in me.
Change is inevitable. Regardless of whether we are happy or sad, life constantly moves and change cannot be stopped. Some changes are small. Others are big. Either way, we are consistently altering: our age, our feelings, and our goals. I think about my past and remember some moments with pain, and others with a smile. Like dead leaves though, some memories cling to my mind while others fall away. I wonder, what makes us hold onto memories, especially the painful ones? I don’t know if I can answer that with a fact, but I found a quote from Andre Gide that shows it’s been questioned by others. “Oh, would that my mind could let fall its dead ideas, as the tree does its withered leaves!”
Perhaps we cling to memories, because those are the moments that define us. Those are the experiences that give us great joy, great pain. It is a common belief that a person’s character and growth can be traced back to critical life moments. In those times, we learned how others can hurt us, where are strength comes from and what makes us tick. According to Pauline R. Kezer, we need to remember the constant flow of events and changes to develop. “Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights.”
However, most change does not happen over night. It is a gradual process that builds upon itself. Sometimes, we don’t even realize it is happening, but that doesn’t stop it. As I get older, I realize, the more aware I am of these little changes and how I react to them, the more ability I have to control the change in a direction I desire. Kind of like this plant that was cut and placed into jars. Some of its leaves rejected the altered environment, but others started to flourish. Slowly, the plant began to develop in its new confines.
And making those little adjustments is what makes us own our lives, control our change, according to Jillian Michaels. “Transformation is not five minutes from now; it’s a present activity. In this moment you can make a different choice, and it’s these small choices and successes that build up over time to help cultivate a healthy self-image and self esteem.”
For the Lens and Pens by Sally Macro Phoneography Challenge. Click on the badge to go to Sally’s macro post this week, and then, join the fun!