"Autumn is the mellow season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits." ~ Samuel Butler
Fall is the gentle season. Wherever we are on this Earth that the Great Creator has provided, especially if we reside in a temperate band, Fall is Nature's chance to take a long breath after the summer's onslaught. This is Nature's preparation time.
Fall knows not what it is preparing for. It simply knows it has a duty to be that brilliantly vibrant transitional lead up to who knows what - a brutal or forgivingly mild winter.
We can learn a lot from Fall.
Summer, with its oppressive days (and nights depending on where you live) is my favorite time of year. As a pool owner I would like the outdoor temperature to be 100 degrees (Fahrenheit!) every summer day. I can relish the swelter as long as I know there is that cool-water refuge at my behest.
But I do welcome Fall as it slowly appears. Even the Earth, tilting, shielding itself from the direct bombardment of a nuclear star we call the Sun knows it needs a respite sometimes.
We all do.
As I write this we are just days away from the Fall Equinox of 2014. Even ahead of the equalization of days and nights - the nights soon to overtake the days - the air is cooling, breezes out of the north are gentle, rains ahead of the big day have been steady, sustained, sustaining.
The Earth is preparing, but for what?
As I mentioned, we can learn a lot from Fall. I also said Fall is a gentle season, but not to be characterized as listless or stagnant. Soon, Fall will burst forth with firework colors that mesmerize the eye, final harvests and a determined, methodical preparation for winter.
The Earth is preparing to breathe.
So what can we as parents of children who have lost their way learn from Fall?
We can be gentle with ourselves. We can learn to breathe, take care of ourselves and prepare for the good, as well as the undesirable. We can have our moments of unabashed joyful, burstful explosions honoring ourselves as ourselves. We can celebrate harvests of our talents we've held onto, held back, for too long. We can share the bounty we've found along our recovery pathways.
We can take a break from oppression by taking life in, embracing it, not by running from it. Fall teaches us to take that breath, to be good to and see the good in ourselves. We can shower ourselves with the sustaining love we may not have experienced for a while.
When a St. Martin's summer rolls in bringing with it the not unexpected warmer comfort during our preparation we cannot be fooled or diverted as we continue our journeys during this powerfully different autumnal stage. This is our time, not our son's or daughter's who brought us to recovery. This is our time to be a bit selfish with our energies. It is a time to reflect but not disappear.
There will be challenges ahead. There will be roads, valleys, hillsides and chasms to conquer along our way.
But perhaps not today.
Perhaps today we can revel in the progress we've made, let our colors fly, display our talents and passions in one huge life harvest while allowing ourselves the gift of introspection about where we've been and where we're going.
We've come a long way. That last month, year or even decade was like a hot, oppressive summer but we made it through.
Breathe a little. We deserve it.
We can learn a lot from Fall!
"And I rose, In rainy autumn, And walked abroad in a shower of all my days." ~ Dylan Thomas, Collected Poems