Chasing Down The Muse: Season reminds us that change is constant

"Change is not made without inconvenience, even from worse to better."

—Richard Hooker


From the rising to the setting of the sun on these winter days, this town is pure paradise. Chirping birds follow the mournful hoot of a pair of nearby owls to welcome the late sunrise that seeps over the cold, often fog-enshrouded hills.

Midday finds the dappling sparkle of crystallized light on the blue pathways of a calm sea. Dolphins frolic. The pelicans fly low. Crows and their compatriot noisy gulls stir up the air.

Evening comes early with sanderlings and other shore birds in clusters along the mirror-like surface of receding waves. Then comes the rapid succession of sherbet to fire colors in the western sky.

These are the great days. Running right behind are the cloud-filled days when the sun drops beneath cloud cover in late afternoon. Then, suddenly, the sky lights up with a heavenly golden glow. Did I say paradise? Wow!

I believe these days of winter remind us about change. Things cannot remain in stasis forever. Change comes. We can fight it, or we can go along with its flow.

Recently, I personally had a couple of changes that at first jarred me in that they were clearly going to make changes to my routine or what I expected to happen. We humans just don't seem to handle change all that well sometimes, do we?

Still, it didn't take long to notice that these things, while inconvenient, were really gifts.

Right after the New Year, my treadmill began overheating and when I could even taste the smell of it that was it. No more treadmill for me. The repair service charge for a visit itself seemed just too much.

I was grumpy for a bit because I had found a way to kill two birds with one stone by using the treadmill. I could exercise and I could also read or peruse art books and I didn't even have to brush hair or teeth before getting to it.

So what was the gift presented by this irritating change? You guessed it!

The great outdoors, which had been beckoning, was once again on my radar. I am loving it. It is as if the world is all brand-new and each day beckons me out. A different walk each day brings a variety the treadmill could never do. It is exciting.

And, yes, it is winter so each day brings on something new. Today, clouds cover the sky and rain threatens. Inconvenient? I suppose. Just a bit, though. A small adjustment and off I go.

What gifts will this particular change bring, I wonder? Awake and aware I set off on the day's adventure to see. And my teeth and hair are brushed, too.

Change may bring on new challenges, but, when embraced, the wonders — the gifts — of it can be pretty phenomenal. Change is opportunity for exploration and for growth.

Have a great day! Embrace change.

CHERRIL DOTY is an artist, writer, counselor and manager of the Sawdust Studio Art Classes in Laguna Beach. Always fascinated, inspired, and titillated by the beauty and the ever-changing mysteries of life, she can be reached at or by phone at (714) 745-9973.

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