I once read that the woodpecker is the harbinger of change—his rhythmic drumming means that the beat will soon be changing in your life. That may or may not be true, but in any case there was a woodpecker in my yard today, and as we were packing our youngest son up for his senior year of college, I was overcome with the realization that yes, change is coming, once again.
I spent a good portion of my life trying to keep everything the same, but needless to say, I failed. The babies turned into toddlers, who turned into school-aged kids, who turned into teens, college students and then went off on their own. My parents left this earthly realm—far too soon, in my opinion. I won’t even get into the physical changes that come with age, but if you’re over thirty, you probably know what I’m talking about.
On the other hand, had it not been for change, I never would have evolved from an anxious, fearful mom to a mostly calm, meditative yogini who can do all kinds of asanas I wouldn’t have even have fathomed in my younger years. I used to look upon change with fear and worry. But my first, beloved yoga teacher taught me, “Change is good.” And think how drab it would be to have to deal with baby diapers forever, or to always be doing laundry for five instead of two.
So, with woodpeckers in my backyard, and kids in my neighborhood getting ready to trot back to school with new backpacks and outfits, and my own college son starting off his final year as a student (unless, of course, he goes to grad school!), I’m reminded again that the best way to deal with change is to welcome it.
The owl is said to be the wisest bird, but I think the woodpecker’s right up there with him. He reminds us not to be complacent, to know that nothing is forever, to realize that change is in our very nature. As my husband’s grandmother was once so fond of saying, “Nothing stays the same.” Even love ripens and grows stronger, deeper or wider, or fades away.