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A Time to Transform


by Brandt Miller

March is here, a month of transition, between winter and spring, cold and warmth, sleep and wokeness. It is a time when the Earth churns and shifts, when flowers come alive and hibernating wildlife awakens. At the edge of winter, March represents that first breath of life, so raw, so vulnerable, those first steps stumbling toward the light, toward vitality, but still connected to the primordial mystery, to the great cold unknown. 

In northern nations, spring is the season when the snow melts and the Earth thaws, a period of mud and slush. During the long slumber, weaknesses weaken, cracks grow. In Mongolia, winds and dust heave off the steppe: taking out the old and bringing in the new, simultaneously. 

We enter this month one way and leave another: transformed. But what happens in that middle place, between the beginning and end. What happens inside the transformation?

Transitions are messy, fluctuating between the old way of being and the new, over and over again, until we learn to integrate our past and future into a free-flowing present. The story is never linear, but more of a circle, coming and going in a spiral staircase that at times seems to backtrack, but in truth, the only way to go is up. 

We must dive into our shadows to transcend our shadows. We must let go of what was and try on new ways of being, all the while anchoring deep into our roots, so we don’t fly away. It is a dance that is not always comfortable, but it is inevitable. With trust, with intention, with community, with love, the transition will still be bumpy, but it can also be sweet. We can move through these moments with grace, and often with some bruises, but we will move through them. Winter must end before we enter the precious delicacy of newborn spring. 

March marks two years since we entered the pandemic. Have we been transitioning for two years? Are we still in the midst of our transformation or are we getting ready to crawl out of it, to walk out of it, to march out of it. There is no way to know. Transformation isn’t magic. It is messy, like March. 

In the cracks between old and new, there is a gateway into infinite possibility. Deep within the stirring sapling waiting to sprout, there is a story. The story of life. The Tibetan Buddhist Tradition teaches about Bardot, which is the in-between moment, between death and rebirth, exhale and inhale, beginning and end. This moment is the most potent portal for transformation. 

Transformation is the very mechanism through which Glide operates, it is at the core of our community. We are here with you, community, as we continue moving through our collective and individual transformations this season, every step of the way. May we move through this time however we need to move through it, tired and beat up, powerful and strong, sad and clinging, ready and surrendered. Wherever we are, it is okay, as long as we continue hand in hand, hearts open, souls awake, Glide Memorial Church at our backs, into the light of this mysterious, perennial season before us.