Builder dust and willow snow

The Resident Friend’s flat and accommodation at George Fox House in Wellington is undergoing renovation. I haven’t seen the changes yet, but Anna’s been describing the process to me:

“I have a new wall now but no door in it which means the dust just blows back in from the hole in the ceiling & floor”

Given how familiar the place has become for me it’ll be strange to have it changed. Renovations are such a violent process, walls are rent, plaster ripped, joists and beams hewn. Things that have been solid, immutable for many years all of a sudden have openings cut through them. What was certain, a fixed boundary, is now open to light and air. And all around is ‘builder dust’, and precious things must be covered in sheets to keep them from being covered in the detritus and building blood of change.
Sometimes changes in our minds, our lives, need to be like that. Wrenching, profound, what was fixed for years ripped open within a day or two, and new light let in. It can be uncomfortable, painful, but nevertheless the only way.

Yesterday I was running around the river. The air was thick with ‘willow snow’, the light fluffy balls that carry willow seeds floating on the air. The willow snow collected in drifts on the grass verges of the footpath. To the touch it was as one who’s never seen snow before might naively imagine it to feel, soft, warm and fluffy. The willow trees, so pliant and patient, that yield and break before the wild winds and yet are ever growing. To them change is slow, and steady, almost imperceptible. They grow gently, softly and beautifully.

And sometimes that is the way it is with us.

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