It’s funny how things cluster together. Bursts of activity that lump together depending on the place that you’re in emotionally, physically, developmentally. Like jumping rock-to-rock to cross a stream, these places are where we land at a given moment in our lives.
Some are easy to identify: “student” to “early career” to “committed relationship” to “parent” are all leaps we’re familiar with. But there are other, smaller leaps that come to mind. Over the last year I’ve had clusters of activity – hiking, chasing waterfalls, devouring poetry, home improvement projects, etc. that consumed me for a time and then I was on to the next thing for a while. Those waterfalls are still calling, just as mountain peaks are, it’s just not their time right now.
Each leap lands you in another place in your life. Each leap changes you forever. I’ll never be who I was before I had children, nor will I ever be the same person as I was before I read The Summer Day or saw a snowshoe hare sprinting through the snow on the summit of Mount Moosilauke or a hundred other leaps large and small that have brought me to this particular landing spot.
Each leap brings us further across the stream, further from who we once were while closer to what we might be. Knowing we’ve changed, and fully aware of the risks, we must choose which leap to take next. Sometimes we get wet, sometimes we reach a dead end, and sometimes we reach a landing spot we never dreamed of getting to. There are lessons in each.
At the moment I’ve landed on a series of home improvement projects that demand the usual investment of time and money. But I’m already plotting my next leap, and have an eye on the one after that too. All while the characters in my life are making their own leaps, some drawing closer, others moving further away. And this is as it should be. The stream keeps flowing, even as we leap from stone to stone.
Nothing ever has been or ever will be the same. You can’t just sit on a rock in the middle of the stream forever. You’ve got to leap again. So make it a good one.