Quiet Calling of Autumn

​“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”    ~ LM Montgomery

I’m not a fan of temperatures above 75 degrees. I live for that first hint of cooler air, knowing that soon it will be sweater weather, warm homemade soup on the stove and tattoos will hibernate until spring.

The extroverted energy of the summer season softens into the quiet season of autumn, signaling – for me – the feeling of a new year when all things seem possible, even probable. I feel called to a slow turning inward and I am able to rest and reflect in the quiet waiting for me. I find my balance again.

Autumn is witness to life returning to the earth, a portal for dying and yet I am baptized by the dazzling fire color of falling leaves, delighting in the gift of the summer’s garden bounty and turning my eyes upward watching the migrating birds fly south across the sky. We put our gardens to bed; our days shorten as the darkness comes early, and I feel a surge of aliveness that is a joyous dance. Is it in dying we feel fully alive? Does one ignite the other?

The quiet whisper of farewell calls me to those things I love most ~ music, flowers, being in my kitchen, and candles lit everywhere. If I am destined to be met with a conscious dying, I can imagine I would dust off Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks, turn up the volume, open the windows wide, for once not caring about disturbing the neighbors. I would surround myself with flowers and all the books I’ve yet to read. And I would bake my favorite dishes, but let someone else wash them. I would hold my beloved’s hand as much as possible. And I would smile and cry at the same time. Dancing between two worlds, each taking turns leading me from one home to the next, until I take that final twist, when all I’ve loved is no longer enough to keep me here.

This year has me dancing life in all its colors ~ coming to terms with my sister’s reckoning with leaving her earthly home and then anticipating the joy of greeting my first grand-baby due to arrive in February. I do not know what the world will feel like without my sister in it. I wonder about that as I am knitting a sweater for the wee one coming in. Knit one, purl two, the tears blur the stitches and I have to unravel the yarn back to the place where all was well, something I can not do for my sister. Sitting by her bedside, I leaned forward to hear her soft whisper ~ “I watch all of you get up from your chairs and I can’t. I won’t ever again put something in my crockpot for dinner.” I nodded and said a quiet “yes” that I hope held an ounce of what my heart was feeling. Witnessing her letting go of these simple, yet suddenly precious acts of ordinary living.

Wedded as I am to participating fully in this life I’m living, I feel every bit of the tenderness in both saying goodbye ~ how can that possibly happen? ~ and saying welcome to the world, baby girl. Loving both of these beings, one who has shaped a part of my heart and another who will.  

So, this October, I will play all my favorite music while wearing my apron and sing into a spatula as I blend a chocolate batter sure to bring good smells and wide smiles. I’ll light all the candles and have extra cups of tea and curl up with a book. I will step into a brilliance of being alive and embrace all that I love about being here. Not because I have the answers. But instead, because I can.

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