This last summer we had one of our favorite family trips ever. In the middle of this high adventure trip of hiking, fly fishing, water falls, and incredible scenery were some quiet nights in Bozeman, Montana. Eating great food and having a blast playing corn hole each night at sunset was the highlight of the trip.
That is part of why I am looking forward to the next couple of weeks. It helps to have the calendar force me to slow down, evaluate some things, and just seize the moments around me. This Christmas, that is particularly true. Our extended family is spread out and the days around Christmas will be pretty quiet… just the five of us. Sometimes it is easy to convince myself that things are not going to change; that the family rhythm we have been in for years will always be the same.
But this Christmas I am reminded of a line from one of the Lord of the Rings movies. In The Two Towers, Aragorn is talking to the Theoden, King of Rohan. Evil is pressing in on his kingdom from all sides. Even as villages are being overrun, Theoden does not want war. He is ready to take his people and make a run for Helms Deep, where they have found safe haven in the past. In this moment, Aragorn confronts the king with the truth.
“Open war is upon you whether you would risk it or not
That rings true to me this year. A few days after Christmas our oldest son moves to Los Angeles to chase a dream of writing and performing stand-up comedy. Our daughter heads to Florida the day after Christmas to meet her boyfriend’s family… hmmm.
Yes, change is coming, and with this new season of family life, the risks and rewards are high. You hope the coming transitions will be good, full of new dreams, adventure, and uncertain outcomes. Even though I know change is an absolute certainty in life, it can be tough to navigate sometimes. My tendency with my family can be to hang onto some of the moments and memories, and resist the change that is coming. So this Christmas, maybe more than ever, I am determined to seize the moments, be fully present, create some new memories, enjoy the slower pace , and ready myself…
Because change is coming, whether I want to risk it or not….