This summer wasn’t the one I expected or wanted, though it was absolutely the one I needed. The adversity and disappointments made me stronger and more compassionate, and for that I’m very grateful. Welcome, Fall. I’m so happy to see you. I’m ready for whatever you bring.
“Autumn is my time. I am most radiant and full of energy when the leaves are falling and there is a ghost of change in the air.” – Ladymadsen (The Iris Diaries)
I try to enjoy every day but I have to admit that truly I wait all year for the sweetness of autumn: the crisp and cool air, the gorgeous colors in the trees, toasty drinks, and delicious and rich fall foods. Give me my boots, jeans, and sweaters, and you give me instant happiness. Autumn is my spring, when my soul comes to life and celebrates change in all of its glorious forms. This is my time. For me, this is the season of possibility when I wake up to my own potential and the potential of everything around me to reach its peak.
The Tuesday after Labor Day was always the first day of school for me when I was a kid. This time of year always feels like the New Year to me. I look forward to Fall all year, and I’m looking forward to it more than ever this year. Apple and pumpkin in everything. Boots and sweaters. Beautiful leaves. Crisp, fresh air. A feeling of hopefulness. I’m excited to see what it holds for all of us, whether we’re in school or not.
Have you ever had a situation come up in your life and wondered “what the heck is the purpose of this?” This week Brian and I talked about the idea of soul retrieval—the Native American belief that when we go through a traumatic experience we leave a piece of our soul with that experience. Stay with me here; these two ideas connect because Native Americans also believe that throughout our lives we are offered opportunities to reclaim the parts of our souls that we’ve lost. These opportunities show up in the form of confounding situations, scenarios that require us to rise up, change, and do something that’s difficult. They often require us to break a long-held pattern that needs to be reversed.
I recently had a few events like this pop up and Brian did a brilliant job, as usual, of guiding me through them. Even though I knew it wouldn’t lead to the best outcome, I was tempted to act in a way that I’ve acted before when these types of circumstances arise. Brian counseled me to examine how I would normally react and then he encouraged me try a completely different tack. It was uncomfortable to react in a completely different way than I normally would, and I wasn’t sure what the outcome would be. Still, I followed Brian’s advice, tried these new approaches, and then waited to see how it would unfold.
Brian’s advice was spot on. I broke patterns that had long-outlived their purpose, and the situations resolved themselves in the most favorable way possible. And I woke up on Friday morning feeling more whole than I’ve felt in a long time. The air was balmy, the wind was soft, and the brilliantly colored leaves made me smile wide. I got some pieces of my soul back. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it.
I haven’t played a group sport in quite a few years but all that’s about to change when I start playing on a co-ed soccer team this week with Zog Sports DC. When I put on my new cleats and shin guards yesterday, I felt really powerful. And not because I think I’m going to become some brilliant spark of a player but because I’m about to do something so outside my comfort zone.
There’s something to be said for purposely going after experiences that scare the hell out of us. Once we try something new, we understand that on the other side of fear is freedom. GOOOOOOAL!
As I was walking to work yesterday, I couldn’t stop thinking of Philadelphia. I went to college there and the fall season always takes me back to that city. The excitement of new classes. The start of a new year with new promises, hopes, and dreams. Discovery. I always get nostalgic during this time of year.
Though my college years were often filled with tough lessons, I’ve found that the older I get the more grateful I am for that time. So today I’ll drink my pumpkin latte, gobble down my cranberry muffin, and hold the magic of Philly in the fall in my mind, determined to do whatever I can to hold on to the magic and wonder of the season.