Transitions: from spring to summer and I slept through it!

A funny thing happened yesterday. I was really sleepy after a busy morning topped off with a long swim, and decided to take a nap. When I fell asleep, it was spring. When I woke up, it was summer! The transition from one season to another happened while I was in the Land of Nod.


I’m surprised you did that. You’ve had “Solstice, 1:50 PM” on your calendar for weeks.


You know what they say about the best laid plans, Lily. It’s not that I was going to pop a bottle of champagne and throw confetti (though that’s not a bad idea). I just wanted to say goodbye to one and hello to the other.


As I often say when talking to a friend who’s watching his grandson go from two to three years old, transitions are hard. Just yesterday I heard from a dear friend, someone I’ve known since grade school, that her husband died. Although all marriages, all deaths, and each person’s grief is different, I know from my own experience that the death of a spouse is a transition that takes time. So many large and small adjustments.


There are other transitions over which we have some control- -not what’s happening outside of us, but how we choose to react to it. For example, mold will always grow in the grout between shower tiles but do you hit it with the mold remover as soon as you notice the faint traces of red forming, or do you wait until it’s more advanced and somehow seems more worthwhile to do?


Personally, I would wait until someone else did it?


That’s one of the benefits of being a child, 9. There might even be a warning on the back of the cleaning product bottle to keep it out of the reach of children.


. . . to Lily.

Transitions: the five year journey from 9. . .


Transitions can be quick or slow. They can be dreadful, or thrilling, or somewhere in between. Tuesday night I attended the “Collage” performance of the Walla Walla Summer Chamber Music Festival. This is a much-anticipated annual event, played by a couple dozen festival musicians, but broken down into music vignettes that are staged in different areas of the performance space (in this case an events barn at Abeja Winery). Imagine: in the center of a sea of a packed house with flexible seating, a grand piano accompanies two sopranos singing Delibes Flower Duet. Then, the focus shifts to a space in the corner behind them, for a Brahms quintet. Then up to a balcony for Cole’s Postlude 7, and so on.


Chock full of transitions: Collage, Walla Walla Summer Chamber Music Festival



This continues throughout the show, which is beautifully lit, and transitions from one piece to another seamlessly! It all happened so smoothly and quickly I didn’t have time to analyze whether it was due to tempo, or moving to a related key, or a combination of those and other factors. The order of the pieces seemed to tell a story, too. And the variety of instrumentation! Everything from a string quartet to a Klezmer trio to a percussionist tapping on a drum that was connected to a display of household lamps flashing on and off in sync with the beats.


So those were good transitions?



Responding to a live performance gives us the opportunity to react emotionally to transitions in what I’d call a safe environment. But sometimes transitions that aren’t arranged or directed can be scary and confusing. That is the time to honor your feelings about what’s happening, but also to decide how you choose to respond.


Change, and the transitions that take us from here to there, is the only inevitability in life. So try not to panic. Take a breath, check in with your emotions, and figure out the next step. You only need to take one step at a time to move forward.


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