Autumn has rolled around once again. The leaves are almost gone from the trees. The nights are getting colder and hard frosts have spread across the ground in the morning. This season holds a lot of emotion for me…and, I believe, for many others.
For me there is so much symbolism in Fall. It really draws attention to the cycle of life. As the year ages so does life…heading into winter before being reborn in spring. But one of the things that is most amazing to me is the emphatic contrasts that exist in Autumn. Even though it is the waning part of the life cycle, when we typically think of deterioration and frailty, Autumn springs forth with a beauty of it’s own. It isn’t the flowering plants and green leaves but rather radiant colors as the leaves turn orange and yellow and red, showing us that even late in life there is such beauty to be found.
There is contrast in the temperature…cold, frosty nights and sun warmed days. You can be cold on the way out in the morning and sweating in the same clothes by the end of the day. Even during the day the air can be cool and crisp while the sun can feel wonderfully warm.
And then there are the emotions. Happiness and excitement about what many say is the best season of the year and sadness that a long winter approaches. Joy in the crunch of fallen leaves and carving of pumpkins but frustration with the shorter days and longer nights.
From my perspective Autumn speaks directly to us about our lives. It reminds us that emotions are not always simple. They can be complex and contradictory. We can be happy and sad, fulfilled and empty, determined and frustrated all at the same time. And it is perfectly normal. Autumn also shows us that beauty exists not just in the best of conditions. When things are difficult or ages increase there is still beauty to be found.
It also tells us to embrace variation and contradiction in our lives. Part of what makes Fall so amazing is the contrasts…that can be true in our own lives as well. It is the fact that our lives aren’t perfectly smooth that allow us to enjoy the good things even more.
And most of all Fall reminds us that even if things aren’t exactly as you’d like them or even darker days lie ahead, things will change. They always do. We can enjoy fall before we slide into the cold days and long dark nights of winter but they are all just a step on the way to spring, rebirth, growth. Our lives are like that…always changing, cycling. There may be challenges…but spring and summer are on the horizon! Enjoy your Fall.