I’ve spent this Memorial Day opening our place up in Montana. It’s not a tough job and I get more than a few of hours of time enjoying the lake, learning how successful the resident loons have been in building and maintaining its nest, exploring the logging roads and being continually amazed by the views of the Swann and Mission mountain ranges in the distance.
Our place sits on the edge of a lake, tucked in a corner rarely used by water skiers and abutting a marsh from which we typically see cranes, osprey, blue heron, bald eagles and loons. In the mornings, the lake is still, reflecting the sunrise against the tamarack and ponderosa that surround its shoreline. However, each afternoon, typically around three pm, a breeze from the southeast picks up and surface of the lake is broken by unending waves.
My family has been coming to this lake for over sixty years. During that time, the 3 o’clock breeze has been a constant. The nesting loons, bald eagles, osprey, blue heron and cranes have been a constant. And it’s no small stretch to imagine that all have existed for far longer than we have been around.
In our world of increasing change, we are quick to ask, “what is the next new thing?” We want to be on the leading edge of innovation, because, we feel, that is where success lies. Heros are made by discovering new worlds and doing new deeds, not reliving past experiences.
I am not immune to these siren calls. I, too, want to be able to see what’s around the corner and be there before the rest of the crowd arrives. But, determining what innovation to pursue requires an ability to fine tune out static, to down play what’s sexy and the identify that which has the capacity to endure. And, in order to do that, you need to have an innate sense of what remains permanent. Because, when you come right down to it, change is nothing but a reaffirmation of certain unchanging rhythms, whether they reflect natural selection, the need for man to be a social animal, or, the desire of man to push himself beyond limits.
When you become aware of these rhythms, you then can be aware of what changes occurring around you are worth your attention. You will also be in a better position to take advantage of that change.
I hope you have used this holiday to take a pause, to reconnect with your own 3 o’clock breezes, to be aware of the permanent so you can be in a better position to welcome the change ahead.