‘Change is a spark’

Font Size
Maria Victoria Rufino

Beyond Brushstrokes

‘Change is a spark’

The world is constantly changing.

Planet Earth undergoes a continuous process of renewal.

Nature’s cycles signify the pre-ordained order of life.

The seasons follow a pattern and rhythm. Birth, growth, death, rebirth.

Summer’s verdant abundance is followed by the gold and copper harvest of autumn. In winter, the earth is dormant. Nothing grows in the temperate regions.

In ancient Greek mythology, the young Persephone, Hades, god of the underworld, kidnapped daughter of the archetypal mother Demeter. Everything started to whither and freeze. This was the start of winter. This became an annual ritual.

In spring, when she resurfaces, every plant, tree and flower reawakens and blooms again.

What was lost is replaced as life begins anew.

Climate change and global warming have to be resolved by all the concerned world leaders.

History teaches us that nothing remains the same.

Wars, time, environmental upheavals, atmospheric conditions are some factors that corrode or ruin structures such as monuments, pyramids, ancient temples and cultural treasures, the Benguet rice terraces, to name a few.

Over the centrism buildings have become casualties of toxic pollution, weapons of aggression and destruction, or the apathy or benign neglect.

The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center destroyed architectural landmarks and symbols of material supremacy. A new center rose like a phoenix from the smoldering ashes. The heroic spirit of the people energized New York and energy radiates from what used to be ground zero. The valiant efforts of restoration changed the look. There is an amazing memorial space with twin beams of light — where the twin towers used to stand. There are new buildings and new people in the regenerated environment.

Life continues in a different form. People are evolving.

One cannot predict how things will turn out. One can plan and strategize for the future but there are no guarantees.

Cautious and prudent individuals prefer security and predictability. They meticulously manage their lives and program their schedules tightly. They tend to resist sudden changes in the rigid structure of their organized lives.

Adventurous free spirits are quite the opposite. They embrace surprises and take interesting risks. Flexible and responsive, they adapt easily to change and flow with the tide.

Outside the sphere of the daily routine, one’s character is tested. When an extreme situation arises, there are diverse reactions. A tremor, hurricane, tidal wave, storm surge and flood trigger fight or flee, panic and freeze. These reactions are determined by the attitude and inner strength of a person. Adrenaline rushes through the system. Instinctively, there is an instant response to external stimuli.

The organized person would be logical, cool and unperturbed. The flexible one would use intuition and gut feel. Both types would switch to survival mode in their individual ways.

How well prepared a person is, timing matters. Luck is also a critical factor. Being at the right place at the right time.

Kismet or destiny plays a significant role.

One may miss an urgent appointment at a particular place due to a seemingly trivial incident. It may not make any logical sense at the moment. One is forced to take a detour or stay home.

Then lightning strikes. Suddenly, the incident makes sense. The split second delay or absence can be attributed to chance. Others call it Divine Providence — when a cosmic force intervenes to save a life.

There are incredible incidents in which fortunate people emerge unscathed from accidents or disaster sites.

Modern day miracles happen. It is difficult to understand why certain random incidents occur. There are unknown reasons and circumstances beyond our control.

Sometimes, it is best to let things happen and to trust fate.

The unseen hand may point us to serendipity — though a detour, one discovers a meadow with flowers or a scenic cliff. An impromptu stop at a distant beach during a thunderstorm could reveal a secret cave with shards of ancient porcelain bowls.

A lost job could start a new independent venture. A chance encounter may kindle a special friendship or a permanent alliance.

An injury and forced confinement could lead to a spiritual voyage to self-discovery. This could inspire one to start a worldwide institution of education.

Change forces one to leave the comfort zone and to take risks. It could be the letting go and shedding the old skin and the baggage of the past. Change could be the spark and the beginning a new life.


Maria Victoria Rufino is an artist, writer and businesswoman. She is president and executive producer of Maverick Productions.