The autumnal equinox is still a few weeks away, but everywhere, nature’s little signposts indicate change is coming: a fall-like coolness nips the morning air; squirrels and chipmunks hoard the season’s first acorns; seed pods unfurl; my garden’s last blossoms –toad lilies, sweet autumn clematis– are poised for their brief debut; the sky’s a deeper, more poignant shade of blue; lengthening shadows lace the lawn; cicadas and katydids sound the growing season’s waning hour; I instinctively reach for a sweater.
Even at its earliest edges, the turning of the year toward autumn is palpable. I grow thoughtful, more introspective. More than at any other time of year, I’m aware of the passage of time. Crickets chirp in the long grasses. I think of those I love – of our children, grown and gone to lives of their own; I weave together fragments of smiles and hugs and the remembered laughter of dear ones I’ve lost, hang new wreaths to their memory in my heart.
As I grow through the seasons of my life, I learn again and again to acquiesce, to love with an open hand, to release my need to hold on to a moment. I learn to accept change, mindful of the beauty of all that is fleeting, thankful for the blessings that, I know, are yet to come.
A gust of wind sends a maple leaf twirling to the ground; as it comes to rest along my path, I’m reminded of these words:
Summer ends, and Autumn comes,
and he who would have it otherwise
would have high tide always
and a full moon every night;
and thus he would never know
the rhythms that are at the heart of life.
~Hal Borland, (1900 – 1978)