|Blowing out birthday candles - December 2011
Being back here in the states I see the strong leaps forward that are forshadowing the way that the world will change. There are no pay phones anywhere - there is no need with cell phones dominating the airwaves. Supermarket check out lines are self-serve, where we scan the SKU labels ourselves to everything from grapes to chips. There are fewer and fewer used book stores, or new ones for that matter, the victims of the ever-present Kindle, ipad and smart phones.
"I will never get used to the idea of reading on a screen," I have lamented for the last two years. I treasure some things far too much. Change, regardless of how fast it is marching, is hard to accept.
Now we enter 2012 - and say goodbye to 2011.
It has been predicted that on December 21, 2012, the Mayan calendar will complete its thirteenth cycle. According to the Mayan belief system, the world will end . The Mayans conceived the concept of the ZERO (the absence of value), which means they were brilliant, but they also believed that the world was a horizontal plane with four corners. They were also known for sacrificing the friends and enemies to appease the gods.
If you don’t believe the Mayans, there is a long list of prophecies and beliefs (all of which predict planet-wide doom) that either make you scared or fall asleep. I have lived long enough to know that most predictions are balderdash, even though I have said goodbye to the world I grew up in: an economic superpower that insulated me from any knowledge of a world economy.
This year the hammer of change has driven home some never-forgettable changes. No matter where we live or how we have grown up, we have seen unusual global changes in 2011. Some have been awesome and monumental. Others have been devastating. Growing up in California, I walked on tetonic plates that shifted often enough for me to know that no ground was solid, and our world was constantly moving.
Personally, our changes in 2011 have been monumental. We have said hello to Alannah, our newest granddaughter, and have said goodbye to Mario's brother, Anthony, all in the matter of four months. I have seen people come and go that I thought would be friends forever...and in the same place. I have forgiven and been forgiven more than I care to admit, cried a river of tears and laughed years into my life.
As I look back at our year, each month, week, day and moment have held oodles of life: and all that comes with it. Change is hard, change is good. Life is full of change...and it pulls us downriver with it. Over the years I have learned to swim, catch my breath and bandage my head wounds. I have also been surrounded by some awesome friends and family, who have pulled me out of the rapids at times. Thank God for them.
Speaking of change, our twenty six year old son is hosting us in his house for the next few days. It is genuinely humbling to stay in the dwelling of your son, be welcomed by him and then be handed a Christmas gift that he didn't make himself - a kindle.
"Don't worry, mom," he said, after reading my flabbergasted expression. "I'ts not the same as reading a book, but you can download any book any time."
It took the wind out of me.
I love it.