“HEART AND MIND” – MAY 2024 – Dr. Lou Yock

When reading the news and watching snippets of the protests and reactions on college campuses, I’m wondering if this is how “Boomer’s” were seen by their parents and grandparents during their anti-war and civil rights protests? Only now, “Boomers” and “Xers” are “the Man,” scratching their heads at “Gen Z.”

On these beautiful spring mornings, I marvel at the regenerative powers of nature. Of how it is that things come, flourish, and then pass. I am always particularly struck by the beech leaves that remain on the trees through the winter and spring, only finally dropping their leaves when the new leaf-growth pushes them off. Every morning I wonder if this will be the last morning I see any remnant beech leaves from the previous season’s growth; the leaves that glowed like Christmas decorations during the golden hours of the long winter.

What I believe is important, the way I see things, that which stirs my passions, the crisis of my age, will be another person’s history lesson, while watching the sociological change happening in front of me will probably confuse or disorient me. “Where did this come from?” I might ask myself. I can speculate, but the answer to that question I may never find find as that belongs to a future generation to decide.

But, I live when I do, with the people that I do. I try not to generalize or assign bad motives. These are things I remind myself as I prepare for another election cycle which promises to be upsetting. I’m training myself now to watch what I’m thinking, and to try and notice how I am reacting to things I see and hear. When I am able to notice my reactions and thoughts, I have a better chance to be at my best. If I can remain measured and calm, not only am I less stressed, it deescalates collateral anxiety from reacting too quickly. That is, if I have less to later regret, I have less to be anxious about.

Much better to try to be the translucent beech leaves glowing in the golden hour. With whatever is happening around me, howling winter winds, blizzards, long, cold, dark nights, I hang on for the sun’s kisses at sunrise and sunset, when the icy air’s refracted light shines through. All things will pass, so all the better to be the golden glow in the wintry times. Spring comes. New growth will happen. Another round begins.