I love the changing seasons in Pennsylvania, but I especially love fall. Though Vermont has a beautiful display of rolling mountains, and Colorado’s views are majestic with their Aspen tree colors … but I digress.
Fall makes me pause … and think of life as seasons. Fall has implications, needed transitions to be done in order to be ready for winter, and, not wanting to think about winter, I digress, I procrastinate, I ramble.
Things I planted in spring with such high expectations are now wild in their efforts to show off quickly. So, I give them another day or week, before I cut, prune, and dig out. I have a tendency to hang onto things: things I might finish, things I might wear, things I may need someday … things that hurt, and especially things that didn’t go well.
In fall, I know the things I planted in spring and watered in summer will come to an end in winter. Some have exploded with color; others went in directions I didn’t plan, like the sweet potato vines that grew up the pergola, and also into the fish pond. They will freeze in a few weeks. But I hold on. Fall is tough.
In the fall season of life, I think of things that need changing: stuff I must let go and learn from and things that didn’t end so well. I really do need to clear the closet and clean out the gardens. They were fun, but they hurt my feet, and I know I’ll never wear heels again … into the thrift store bin. The sweet potato vines will freeze any day now. Next spring, I won’t plant them next to the pond and I’ll trim them to keep them in check. I’ll never finish the baby blanket – that kid is now 10. The yarn is now in the Care and Share box. In a former job, working as a transition coordinator, I helped facilitate downsizing and moves into retirement living. You’d think I would be good at this. Guess again. It’s easier to talk it than do it.
Pam Morrison calls this season of life that I am in the “Warring Season.” It’s a time of turbulence, setbacks, and resistance to changes. But the Morris Arboretum reminds me fall is for fruits. My optimism, combined with the help of a good friend, has decided that my current self-work focus is to experience this fall as a season of grace.
I need grace for myself to embrace my season of life, to reflect, to give meaning to what has been, and move into what can be now. I need grace to forgive myself, to forget, and to clear the closets of my mind. I need grace to look for the potentials of each day and to walk each day in that self-grace.
I also need grace for others so that I remove expectations, listen more, and reflect the positive. I need grace to forgive, as I have been forgiven. I need grace to be at peace with differences and silence. I need to remember that grace is multiplied through me.
I want to love this spiritual season of fall. I want to reread Bible stories that challenge me to reach for new learnings, to give mediation time for God’s presence, to be grateful for the present, and to reflect on what might be next in this wild and wonderful life.