The Surprise of Change

There’s a quote I heard years ago and I still can’t shake it.

“Time changes everything except something within us which is always surprised by change.”

Thomas Hardy

What is it that makes our stomach drop when we realize the year is almost over? What is it that stings our heart the last time we walk out of a building where we worked or lived for a few years? Something within us is shocked to look up and see that our children have grown bigger, no matter how many times we warn ourselves that it happens fast.

There is an emotion in change, and for the life of me I can’t figure out why. The day itself appears different every time you look out the window. Leaves fall, clouds morph, grass trades its green for brown. Every time the seasons change we point out the obvious like it’s our first time to feel cold air or see spring blossoms.

Even in the times when we welcome and hasten change we are no less surprised when it comes. There’s some immutability within us that stands in contrast to everything else.

Why are we so surprised? What are we clinging to?

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