“To be truly free one must take on the basic conditions as they are–painful, impermanent, open, imperfect–and then be grateful for impermanence and the freedom it grants us.”

~Gary Snyder, The Practice of the Wild


Edge ran inside this morning saying, “Quick, quick!  Alpenglow–the mountains are pink!  Quick!”

I jumped down from the bed before I had time to finish writing the quote above and ran outside to see the Worcester range illuminated in a pink sunrise.  Perhaps last year I would have waited a few seconds longer and finished what I was doing, but we’ve seen how quickly the colors of sunrise move over the mountains, and a moment was not to be spared if I wished to see what was out there this morning.

I jumped through the door into the cold, shouted “glory!” and ran inside to grab my camera.  I clicked away, knowing I never quite capture the magical beauty, and then thought, impermanence grants freedom.

What is the permanence of a photo–a frozen moment–worth?

We do so much to capture beauty.  We take photos, paint, carve, sculpt, arrange.  But sunlight fades photos, dust collects on frames, flower bouquets wilt, even stone sculptures eventually erode.

Beauty is not static.

No matter how slow it happens, though it may seem we have stopped time in some way, the energy of all things continues its constant motion.  Beauty, by nature, moves.

Despite the pain that may be found in impermanence, our lives rely on the shifting of moments, the sudden light that kisses the mountains–these flashes of beauty that shake us awake.