wind, roots, and change

November 26, 2022

I was sitting on the pier in Ocean Beach, San Diego, 11 years ago. I hadn’t gotten sober yet, but I was well on my way. I’d stopped the aggressive partying. I’d pared it down to beer and wine only, and some weed. I was checking back into life, slowly but surely. Reintegrating on my terms. Slowly gaining sobriety. Slowly gaining moments of stillness. Training myself to be still.

I’d take my little journal out to the end of the pier. The first time I did it, it was a windy day. Probably around 65 degrees. Cloudy. I watched as seagulls rode through the sky with ease. Gliding. Despite the circumstances. Despite the wind and the chaos and the movement and dynamic challenges all around. They stayed calm. In fact, they managed to glide through the madness with deafening beauty. So strong they were. It was then I started to realize that strength makes a person calm. Fortitude. Chutzpah. Gall.

The winds of change are bound to come. If we do not have roots, they will pull us up, create a tornado of the shallow pieces of our life and clear them out. Create a dustbowl of chaos all around us. If we have roots, deep in the ground, the wind will pass. We will be like trees in the forest, so strongly connected to one another that no wind could lift them off. But, if our life needs a shakeup, if we do not have those bonds to others or to ourselves, the winds of change have their way with us. Sometimes they pull us toward a new fertile land where we are more likely to plant roots that take hold. Sometimes they clear out everything that needed to go and drop us right where we were.


A new life in the same place.


Sometimes, usually once we are older and have seen our fair share of windy days, we realize that there is nothing that can shake us. That even if we have physical changes or relocations or get dropped in the middle of bumfuck nowhere, we will be okay. Our stillness and our roots come from the inside. The physical is just an illusion. The real roots are threads of invisible energy. We may even have roots elsewhere we didn’t know about, and the winds are carrying us closer to where we need to be. Either way, we have very little choice in the matter. Either we throw up our hands and allow the spinning, whirling wind to take us away, or we fight the current. We bear down and resist the forces all around us. And, in so doing, send a clear energetic message to the universe that we know better than it where we “should” be. Whether or not that’s true is up to you. Not me.

Stay still and be well. Know that you are loved and supported by forces greater than we will ever be able to understand. Trust that the movement comes from elsewhere. It is no accident. It is another lesson. Another opportunity. Another creative brushstrokes of our cosmic leader. We are the cells of this greater universal dance. Time to get moving. 

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