There are fallen Aspen leaves in my driveway and over the lawn, in the garden and all over the streets in town. Trees seem on fire with yellows, rust and red gloriously back-lit by the sun. I drive on some streets that seem like tunnels of radiant colors and I sing to myself a few internal songs. It is Fall in Colorado and the air is cool and fresh while nights are cold.
My husband and I went on Old Stage Coach road, up in the mountains, west of the city. It is as the name says, a very old, unpaved and very narrow way with tunnels, blind curves and nothing, not even occasional guard rails to keep you from tumbling in the void that is often on both sides. But the views ... the views make all the effort of taking that drive worth it. Aspens line the many mountain sides and present a huge, astonishing warm palette of immense beauty.
It is this time of the year again, when we have to let go of the exuberance of summer and contemplate the changes that come with Fall. It is a precursor to Winter and as such it is the exciting in-between time of the year that comes with a magnificent splash of colors and lets us know that it is time to settle down within and think and reevaluate the year. Nature presents us with the transition, the entrance to this state of awareness and whether we sense it or not, life is coming with its packet of changes.
For me, transitions are the beginning of retreating into myself and finding simple joys that I had forgotten in the rush, work and pressure of summer. Like waking up before my husband at dawn and walking quietly to the living room where with open windows I can see the sunrise and greet the day; a form of silent meditation about what might happen and also a form of salutation to the budding sun.
I can knit with the fabulous selection of yarns that I have collected through the years and see patterns of color develop while my thoughts are silent and the day unfolds. I can write in my gratitude journal and mention things that are so basic and real to me. I am grateful for taking a breath at a time and being alive. I can send love to my family and friends and imagine a security circle around each one of them. I can dream of the next piece of jewelry I will create and imagine the curves and the stones plus the shades offered to me in my studio. Most of all, my priorities become more obvious as I let go of the non essential and embrace the most important. I also like the joys of reading a real paper book that I can hold in my hand and let the the words evolve into a story with a character leading a life so unlike mine. It is great to dream a bit!
It is my time to reevaluate. Life has so much to spread in front of me but choosing one thing is of utmost importance. It is good to have a single main goal and go in its direction.
I can think about all the persons that I have met and loved and that have gone out of my life for many reasons, especially the ones that I will never see again because they have died. I can think of the finality of death and the strangeness of life. The way we come on the planet, learn and live each day with awareness or not and create a trail of questions that life answers if we are lucky. We can also add our name to the long list of beings that have come before and left a legacy to admire and try to emulate.
My loved ones march in front of me in my mind's road. I love to follow this stretch of my days and look at the beings alive before me that stand in their own glory and grace and by so doing are so deserving of my attention and love. I can put aside the people which are indifferent to my life and do my best to enhance the life of all the other ones that walk with me and present challenges and growth to my days, or let me embrace the example that they present.
All of this comes with this slow approach of Winter that serves to focus us on what we had tuned into in the Fall. In a way, regroup our year and set the tone for what in the next year will happen, surprise us, challenge us -- or simply, delight us.
Life is such a journey and it helps to discover more of ourselves with each passing season as we meet the day and continue our life fully aware and conscious. I believe that humans were not meant to live with passivity but make happen what is close to our hearts, and Fall is the time to get in touch with our wants and what brings a smile to our face.
Copyright 2011 Micheline Brierre