I’m not someone who typically enjoys change. I like to get comfortable in what’s familiar, and then continue polishing and preening until I know that I’m doing something well. This afternoon, I did a quick mental comparison of what my life looked like one year ago. I can’t begin to count the changes as life has done a 180 degree turn on me. One year ago, I lived in an extremely rural setting with snakes in my garden and hornbills in the trees that shaded my house, I walked two minutes to work and I was a leader in that hospital where I enjoyed starting new projects in the community, I studied for hours each night in an attempt equip myself as an excellent HIV medicine clinician, every afternoon was spent going for walks on the air strip with the girls and baking treats for the following day’s doctors’ teas and my thoughts were filled with plans of how my future would work out…plans of what today would look like. Yes, my girls couldn’t speak, but I was being paranoid, so I was told. I sit here today…I now live near the city and I actually have to drive my car every day, I do the odd night shift occasionally to supplement our income,but I’m otherwise not involved in anything medical, I have certificates for the studies from the year before, and can honestly not see how I may ever use them, I spend my evenings writing this blog, reading and crafting, my afternoons with the girls are spent reading and playing…and I have stopped planning my future. Ironically, what actually hasn’t changed, is the fact that my three daughters are deaf, I just didn’t know that this time last year.
My life seems so much simpler in many ways now, and the temptation at times is to see all these changes as losses. It’s the only way that I saw things in the beginning, but each day I discover a change that has definitely added to my life. Having more time with my girls, the gazillion mini celebrations as new words are learned, the people I meet and get to know,and the fragility and strength of the human spirit that I get glimpses of. These are not things that are measurable by human means, not areas that can be evaluated by academics or be awarded certificates for. These experiences and discoveries are like little treasures, often only for my own eyes, but incredibly precious and priceless.
The caterpillar may loose it’s creepy hairs, ferocious appetite and numerous legs, but change allows this creature to transform into an elegant and gentle wonder of creation that hardly recognizes its former self. When I think of this supreme example of change, I can’t help but see change as a privilege. An honour to be in the position to be moulded, crafted and smelted by the Hand of the One who defines Love, Beauty, Wisdom and Creativity – how could this not turn out for my best? A simple saying that I really appreciate is one that says that change has the power to make us either bitter or better, and that the outcome is ultimately up to ourselves. This time last year, Tahlita could only say very few words. She now says and signs the word butterfly as in the picture above…change has been good to her.