As the last few glimpses of summer give way to cool, crisp fall - how do you greet this change? How do you feel in your body? Is there dread for the coming winter? Are you excited for the colors and pumpkin spice everything? I’m more of an apple kind of girl but I do love pumpkin too!
Autumn has a beautiful way of teaching us the brutal fact of life that “all good things must come to an end”. Ultimately, change means that something has died, that we can’t go back. We can only move forward and eventually something new is reborn. Many cultures celebrate this eternal dance between life, death and rebirth at this time of year. Think of “Dia de los Muertos” in Mexico, the Gaelic festival of Samhain, or our own upcoming Halloween celebrations. Many believe the veil between worlds is thin during this time, you may even sense messages from loved ones who’ve passed.
At the beginning of quarantine a friend of mine said “change is hard”, which is true. But you know what makes it even harder? When we refuse to accept it. The funny thing about change is that it’s going to happen regardless of how we feel about it. It drags us along when we resist it. It can still break our heart even when we accept it with open arms. However, as with anything in life, the only way out is through. We’ll make it through the winter. We’ll make it through heartbreak and death. We’ll be a different person when we get to the other side. We’ll be grateful for the spring because we felt the depths of our loss in the autumn and winter.
We learn so much from the cycles of nature since they mirror the cycles in our own life. After the crest of a great wave follows a hollow just as deep. I think the lesson here is to learn how to greet the low with the same enthusiasm as the high. In a relationship, can you meet difficulties with the same amount of loving forgiveness as you did while in the lavender haze? If a loved one is fading away, nearing death - can you meet them with the same loving tenderness that you’d give a newborn child?
We accept the upswing hoping that the good times will never disappear. When we’re down, we tend to feel like the bad times will never go away either. Once you understand the balance of life, the yin and yang, light and dark - you know that neither lasts forever. You’ll know that there are seeds of beauty in the darkness, you’ll know there is a twinge of heartache in the light. Find comfort that one eventually gives way to the other.
Our nation lost a great woman recently, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, champion of women’s rights. While it is normal to feel sad or even devastated over a death like this, I hope it is also mixed with gratitude for the good she was able to carry out along with hope for the future. If we look to the laws of nature we can trust that the end of her legacy marks the beginning of a new one that we haven’t yet realized. She was a great wave, we grieve in the hollow of her loss and keep a lookout for an even bigger wave on the horizon.
I think when we look back on the year 2020, we will see it as a time of great change, which means it is also a time of intense grief. We are grieving the end of the world as we once knew it. There is no going back to how things once were, but there is also a great potential for creating a new reality. What kind of positive changes would you like to see in the world? What kind of newness are you craving in your own life? Hold fast to your vision. Do what you can to make it a reality. Feel through your grief but also believe that a great beginning is underfoot.
I spoke to my dear Gram this week, she’ll be 95 in November. She has witnessed a tremendous amount of change in her lifetime. In fact, she has outlived the world that she knows and understands. Despite the amount of change and death she’s lived through, she remains an optimist. I’ll leave you with her words of advice:
“Focus on the GOOD! Think about all the good that IS happening. Think about the good things that WILL happen and think of all the good that you can help to make happen in the world!”
Much love to you all,