“Change can change back. (We can go from conservative to liberal, from disciplined to undisciplined…) Change is volatile. Transformation is completely different – though sometimes it is called change. Transformation never makes the past wrong. It transforms it. It doesn’t deny it. It honors it in a way that you can move forward without making anything wrong, and having the past somehow now become complete, rather than wrong. Transformation has a permanence to it – where once you transform, once you awaken, once you see the stations you didn’t see before, you can’t go back. Transformation has the ultimate power of time, and what the world is crying for now is transformation, not necessarily more change, though some change may be a part of it, the route to transformation. Transformation suddenly makes the past make sense, and new futures open up.” ~ Lynne Twist
Our two goats birthed healthy kids in the past 10 days. There’s nothing like birth to illustrate the power of transformation.
Pepper the goat, who came to us as a sweet little kid about a year ago, is now an attentive and worried mother. The bulge that has slowly grown in her belly over the past five months is now a perfectly beautiful little doe (Comet Wood). Our other mama goat, Annie, had an equally beautiful, but much larger, buckling (HickoryNut White).
I can’t watch those births, and the growth of those kids, without thinking of our (human) processes, as well. I remember my children as sweet little bald-headed toothless infants. They have transformed into walking, running, bike riding, sweaty-headed children with opinions and talents all their own. And they are far from complete. Day by day they will grow into adolescents and adults, and if they (we) are so fortunate, they will have children of their own and even become elderly.
We have all been many people, haven’t we? Most of us cannot remember being infants, and we cannot know exactly who we will become as we continue to age. We are capable of great change, great transformation, one breath, one heartbeat at a time.
Is transformation ever complete, or never complete? I suspect the latter.
The continuum is evident in the garden. I’ve been watching the garden with different eyes this year, knowing it will be our last growing season at this little homestead. Twelve years ago, when we landed here, the land, the soil, was rough. It was hard growing. With our care and effort and loving attention, the land has transformed. We can grow a beautiful garden here now, and there’s still room for improvement. As we come to the point of finding a new steward for this place, I will be seeking someone who will continue to apply the loving care necessary to keep the transformation moving in a positive direction.
Here’s the thing. I won’t pretend that all transformation is positive, because it isn’t. People neglect and abuse their land, and what was a once a pretty nice place transforms into a washed out and infertile wasteland. When people fail to nurture, love, and provide for their children, those children have a harder time making a healthy transformation into the full bloom of adulthood. We be will all be transformed, whether we are paying attention to the process or not. And we all take part in the transformation of ourselves and those near to us.
I think it is one of the special gifts of being human, the choices we have in our own transformation. And though we are deeply swayed by the forces of instinct and hormones, we are not completely ruled by them. We can allow the bumps, jostles, and upheavals of life harden our hearts and minds, or not. We can, do, and shall overcome. It is up to us to make our transformations healthy and positive.
It brings me joy to watch the new goat kids stretch in the morning light. Their skinny newborn bellies are already fattening up with their mama’s good milk. The garden, soft and wet with rain is stretching upward toward the swelling moon. Our children, bursting with the excitements of summer, berries and creek time and fireflies and all, seem to be growing taller and more full in themselves each day. Joy is a transformative power. Taking joy in all these growing lives, these transformations are also mine. I share them with you, so they can be yours too.
I hope you will go find (or make) some more goodness, and share it.