meeting impermanence this morning

coping with change gratitude impermanence mindfulness resilience May 25, 2023

Summer is almost here and the days are getting longer and warmer. Lately I've been contending with some furry underground neighbors who have a big appetite for spring flowers. 

I don't know if you've had much experience with gophers, but they have fully colonized my neighborhood. And they regularly give me lessons in impermanence. Yesterday, I noticed a cheerful orange poppy had opened in the yard. This morning, the whole plant had vanished! Pulled under from below ~ it was like it had never existed!

While it's not the first time this has happened, the disappearing act still gives me a bit of a shock. I've also started to practice with the experience ~ to let it be a reminder to appreciate the poppies while they're here. 

And I've been excited to see that this year, one poppy plant has found a way to persist and thrive despite the gophers.


persistent poppies growing out of a crack in the cement patio


I love this poppy! It's a bright reminder to make the most of what we have ~ to bloom and play where we are right now. Even if "where we are right now" is a crack in the cement!

There are so many difficult dimensions to our collective and individual lives. So many "gophers" that can catch us by surprise. Things change that we didn't think would change, and it can be hard to cope.

It's important to remember that the gophers don't always get the last word. Even in the midst of challenges, there is a place to bloom and to play. And now is the time to bloom and play ~ while we can! 

I came across a timely poem recently that echoes this idea (including the impermanence), and I wanted to share it with you today:


The Merry Month of May
by Wendy Cope

'O! the month of May, the merry month of May...'

~ Thomas Dekker (d. 1632)


The month of May, the merry month of May,
So long awaited, and so quickly past.
The winter's over, and it's time to play.

I saw a hundred shades of green today
And everything that Man made was outclassed.
The month of May, the merry month of May.

Now hello pink and white and farewell grey.
My spirits are no longer overcast.
The winter's over, and it's time to play.

Sing 'Fa la la la la,' I dare to say,
(Tried being modern but it didn't last)
'The month of May, the merry month of May.'

I don't know how much longer I can stay.
The summers come, the summers go so fast,
And soon there will be no more time to play.

So carpe diem, gather buds, make hay.
The world is glorious. Compare, contrast
December with the merry month of May.

Now is the time, now is the time to play.


drawing of a smiling person with their arms out


If you'd like to practice a bit more with this poem, try putting a hand on your heart and taking three breaths.

As you inhale, say to yourself: now is the time
As you exhale, say to yourself: now is the time to play

When you finish, notice how you feel.



I hope you find some simple ways to enjoy and appreciate the brightness beside you today 



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