A New Beginning?

By not allowing change around us, does it validate what we have, or have not, done?
By Maria Montalvo | Aug 14, 2012

In 1929, physicists and astronomers took a few observations and a handful of Einstein’s theories and proved that the universe was expanding.

In other words, every day, the atoms that make up the universe are moving further apart.

Eventually, most scientists say, the universe will expand so far that it won’t exist anymore (some say it might create a new big bang and start all over, but this is when my head starts to hurt to think about it).

Just like the universe, every day the atoms that make up the molecules inside of humans expand. Each of us will not exist some day.

If we take this a step further, then the atoms that make up the elements that make up our bodies are expanding and change every day. Thus, we wake up changed, a different person each morning.

As we brush our teeth or eat a bowl of cereal, take a sip of coffee, we are a different molecular being than we were when we went to sleep.

How is it that with so much change, we are so obstinate when it comes to allowing change around us? From pant size to hair color to a building on Main Street or a new neighbor, we humans have an aversion to accepting change.

Even though we see ourselves aging, children growing, the seasons turning, somehow change can be avoided, fought against, denied.

Is it the loss of opportunity that we are fighting against?

By not allowing change around us, does it validate what we have, or have not, done?

In one of my favorite poems, “Do Not Go Gently Into That Good Night,” Dylan Thomas says that men should rage because they realize their “words had forked no lightning” or because they “realized too late they grieved [the sun] on its way”.

We don’t always have the impact we dreamed we would. We don’t always realize how much fun we are or could be having.

If only we knew…

If our atoms really do expand and change us every day, it would seem that we really do have a new opportunity to be a better version of ourselves.

It’s not just a cliché. It’s literally true.

Then, why is it I so often skip playing with the dog or taking a run, answer too many emails on a sunny day, talk only briefly to friends or family if at all, eat an average meal, don’t read that book, or watch bad TV?

Worse, I put off making that quilt or starting to write that novel or plan that next big hike. And I suppose worst of all, I don’t take that next step to do something good for someone or worthwhile because I focus on the pretzel in my head that is a twist of existentialism, idealism, and well-practiced stubbornness.

In this sea of scientific theory, one silver lining that most agree on is that the atoms that were banded together to be each of us will have a memory of their time together.

We won’t be here but our atoms will remember a time when they were something else, bound with other atoms as something unique. Define this how you will, but at least all this change leaves a legacy.

Every day is a new beginning, not just for the world around us but within ourselves.

I read one scientist who said that if we could just replicate the atoms as they were on a particular day, we could make ourselves immortal by cloning ourselves over and over.

That may be a way to rage against the dying of the light, but I suppose it’s a bit more like denial of the universe’s only constant: change.

I’m going to go play some of the best music of all time (the new music these days just isn’t as good as it used to be) and dance a little.



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