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Change. Does the very word, or thought, or utterance cause any reaction? It is a very powerful word, actually. So powerful that it reaches to the highest office in our land of America.

When you Google the word "change," you can visit;,,,, and so on and so on. Interestingly enough, most are powerful political advocacy. These groups have spent millions and perhaps billions of dollars on that word alone, "change."

Are we so drawn to the word or the concept of "change" to warrant the investment? I suppose, to some, the answer would be a resounding "yes." We have re-organized the world through our political choices made on the promise of "change."

Yet, I really have a love/hate relationship with change.

In one sense, I can never get enough change. In my own mind I leap from season to season, anticipating all of the beauty and promise that it will bring. For example, by mid-July, my eyes are glued to the deciduous trees abundant in our Pacific Northwest, searching, sometimes in vain, for that one golden leaf -- a sign of "change" to come. By August, those golden and red beauties are scattered here and there along our highways. When I point them out to my ever-patient family, I'm told they are just "dry." But I am more hopeful than that. I know they are beginning to change, thus ushering in one of my favorite seasons of the year.

I wait until school begins out of deference to my family, but then out come my scarecrows, pumpkins and dried leaf arrangements for our house. I'm planning fall menus, even though it is still near 80 degrees on some days. I'm living the moment of change that is to come. But by November, I am well into Christmas planning. And so goes my year. I can't help it; I crave the changing of the seasons.

On the other hand, I despise "change." I want to hold on to everything that was. I want to relive and preserve the lives and customs of the past. I want to hold onto my child and the stages he is flying through. I rejoice but am also saddened as he grows and matures in seeming minutes!

I think with change comes inherent consequences. While it may bring the promise you dream of, it may indeed bring disaster, heartache, or ... nothing different than what was before. I dream every year of a snow-filled winter. And sometimes I am disappointed and sometimes I'm not.

Change is like that sometimes. When I was a young girl, I loved all kinds of change. I couldn't wait to change schools, change houses, change styles, grow older ... you know. Now ... it is a little different. I know of the consequences that can come of those changes. And I, like most of us, would rather not experience disappointments and would especially love to shelter those we love from it.

There is a quote by King Whitney Jr. that most of us have heard or read before. But it came to mind today as I contemplated change and my relationship to it -- as I am planning my menus and washing my brown transferware china in preparation for the next couple of months, and as I am smiling at the brilliant blue sky out my kitchen window, knowing that it is going to be another very warm day.
"Change has a considerable psychological impact on the human mind. To the fearful it is threatening because it means that things may get worse. To the hopeful it is encouraging because things may get better. To the confident it is inspiring because the challenge exists to make things better."

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