I received a letter from an old friend today. Her health is not good, and I worry about her future. I don’t want things to change! Living on an island I have grown accustomed to change, difficult as that may be. The beach itself varies from day to day, widening and narrowing the places I walk, removing vegetation or depositing new seedlings. And yet I want to hold unto the known and the familiar, reluctant to release what I have come to love. O Lord, please help me see that change is the essence of our earthly lives. I need to appreciate with more open awareness the beauty of the moment so I can recall its absence with love and happiness. Forgive me for holding too fiercely to the past, blinding myself to the future joys prepared for me by you. I pray that you would open my clenched fists—may they be hands stretched wide to embrace each moment of my life—hands open to reach out for your hand. Amen.