Speckled: Finding Marvel in Transition

How wonder and awe underscore even the shakiest of transitions.

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Here we are at the 6-month mark of our COVID reality. Our adrenals are worn. Our compassion for both self and others may be dwindling. Our patience towards everyday hassles and our mercy towards loved ones is likely on the decline. We remain on an emotional roller coaster marked by high stake decisions that have no satisfying answers.

We hold our breath more often than not, on more days than not.

Our lives have come to resemble the very HYBRID that now underscores our work and school routines–a hodgepodge of a perpetual ebb and flow—a semblance of mixed familiarity and stark newness. And to top it off, the political arena is gearing up for a supercharged 35 days of debates, noise, and division.

Ironically, our surroundings are also seemingly HYBRID— a boast colorful landscapes speckled with part old and part new. The outside world, one that is simultaneously preparing itself for its own shift and transformation– is doing with astounding finesse. Leaves turn, change, and fall each and every day. And what do most of us do? We marvel at them.

Have you ever stopped and called into mindful awareness what we marvel and tune into during our car rides, bike rides, hikes, or nature walks? Believe it or not, our marvel well exceeds the mere fall mosaic. In fact, what we actual pause to notice and appreciate is the undeniable, unapologetic shedding that accompanies any period of transformation; a shedding that is both inevitable and necessary.

Fall transformation even in the heart of its shedding and ‘in between’ phase offers wholeness, stillness, and hope that is marvel-worthy. We all stop to admire it even if for a fleeting, unsolicited moment. The question then becomes, is there anything on the human end of this shift period (i.e., one month deep into the new academic year and the start of the fall season) that is equally marvel-worthy?

I say, absolutely.

Some of my personal examples of marvel-worthy, awe-inspiring feats include:

  • Our educational leaders have displayed an inordinate amount of courage and tenacity forfeiting their summers for what can easily be compared to an intensive, drawn out chess match between the educational system and COVID-19.
  • Our teachers have displayed monumental courage and wherewithal, fighting their own unease and insecurity and returning to teach either in-person and masked for 6+ hours or vying for meaningful engagement and representative student participation in the virtual classroom.
  • Parents and families have displayed nothing short of courage in the raw form through their painstaking deliberations and decision-making around back to school—what do to and for how much; how to maintain important routines while nimbly responding to changes in work and school schedules; each choice wrought with angst, guilt, fatigue, and/or some constellation of the above.
  • Our children, our beautiful children, are perhaps the most marvel-worthy in all of this. Their ceaseless ability to quell our edginess through their resilience and desire to adapt for the sake of continuity, connection, and plight for their childhood and adolescence is remarkable.

Fall 2020 is certainly different than what we have come to welcome and appreciate. It has been fretted with complication, fatigue, and unrest to name but a few descriptors. It has also been laced with tremendous courage. And in this courage–at the nucleus of this tremendous courage– lies without a doubt, nothing short of marvel.

This article was originally posted in on September 30, 2020.

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