Not that long ago I wrote about the Christmas tree stand by the subway entrance closest to my apartment and how much I loathed it. Tonight as I was coming home I found the workers dismantling it. I fully expected my first thought to be, “Hallelujah!” Instead, I felt a little sad. The holiday season is being declared over, before it has even happened. We get all hyped up for something and then, just like that, in the blink of an eye, it is over. I felt jipped in some ways as I watched the last remnants of the stand be taken apart.
I felt the painful reality of impermanence as I walked along the block that no longer blinded me with lights or slowed my pace. Nothing stays the same. We truly have nothing but the present moment. And, no matter how bad something is, we manage to get through it. I made it through a month of that stupid Christmas tree stand. I have made it through a lot of other stuff in life as well. We never quite see the end of bad situations until…poof! Things have changed. Nothing stays the same, not the bad stuff, or the good stuff. That is the beauty and madness of this life, we cannot hold on to anything forever.
“That nothing is static or fixed, that all is fleeting and impermanent, is the first mark of existence. It is the ordinary state of affairs. Everything is in process. Everything—every tree, every blade of grass, all the animals, insects, human beings, buildings, the animate and the inanimate—is always changing, moment to moment.” ~ Pema Chodron