What is it about autumn? We know leaves will be falling, branches will be bare, but we savor and celebrate the process. Change is precious in this season, something we normally want to avoid. We welcome it in the fall. The autumn moon shines brighter in our collective memories, and the earlier sunsets can streak the sky with darker colors. The weather is unpredictable, some days start out under gray skies and then the sun breaks through late in the day and we shed our sweaters and jackets.
Children have an instinct about nature if they are exposed to it early enough. They understand completely they are part of it, not separate from it. I want to remember that as an adult. I want to get close enough to the leaves of my maple tree so that I can breathe the miracle of clean air. I want to stand under the full moon and drink in her kind, reflected light.
As a child I thought my relationship with the natural world was unique, that I alone could appreciate it for the tiniest flower, the hidden splendor of a seashell, or the faint aroma of rain. My dad pointed out the secret life of a ladybug when I was about three, and I took that idea and made it my own. My mother did not share my astonishment at the life of a ladybug or anything else I brought her from nature. I remember finding what looked like the tiniest of rose buds in the grass of our front yard. She was busy at the sink, and my treasure could not have been less interesting if I had brought her a handful of dirt. In that one moment I realized that some people did not see things as I saw them. And that is, of course, true. Personal experience is unique. No one can see through my eyes what I see, or hear what I hear with my ears, feel exactly what I feel when I touch a leaf. We come into the world as a part of it, but unique to it. The moon shines on all of us, we see it wax and wane, but the pull we experience in our bodies, in the tides of our blood and tissue, is different for each one of us.
I wish you joy in all the nuances of this season of change. Remember you are unique in your experience of every delicious, challenging, comforting moment. Savor all of them.