Monday, October 8, 2012

In Season


On the first day of Fall this year, I felt like a woman out of season, out of time.

I spent the few days preceding it in bed with a stuffed up nose and a bleeding heart. I was grieving over the change that happened. Every part of me had been engaged in the push that it took to get me in to this new season, and once I was in it every part of me also temporarily gave out.

I knew I needed to breathe fresh air and sit in a different place, so I picked up my tired body and I drove to the park near my new house. I found the biggest tree I could, and I sat in its shade.

I kept musing about how so many I know were relishing that first day of Fall. How they were out buying pumpkin lattes and woven scarves. How they were rejoicing in the turning and falling of the leaves.

But all I wanted to do was lay on the grass and weep.

This summer was a good one for me, and I didn't want to let it go... because it was also the end of an era. When I moved out of my house, I closed the door on everything that it represented: my long gone marriage, my idea of what my life was going to look like, my elaborate dream for my once intact family.

Of course, I opened another door when I closed that one. An ancient door. A door to a world that holds secrets and treasures that can only be found once the other door is closed. But I couldn't see that at the time.

I was afraid.

I was afraid that if I kept my eyes wide open and I saw the full, lush trees change their colors and start exposing their bare branches that somehow all that I recovered of myself in the summer months would color and fall away as well.

As I thought about this, a single yellow and green speckled leaf fell from the tree above me. It drifted gracefully down. As it fell, it sang a sweet song, like a bird in the early morning hours. 


It assured me that I was right where I needed to be. Sitting under that canopy of leaves--as the first of them came flitting down--anchored me.

As much as I enjoyed being cocooned in the water this summer--like a baby in its mother's womb--the birthing waters had broken, and I was panting for air as I belted out my first lung-strengthening cries that day.

I was physically born--almost thirty-five years ago--in the Fall. And I knew that it was no accident that this second birth was happening in the same season as the first.

As I gathered my things to return home that day, I took the fallen leaf with me. I tucked it in my notebook and haven't thought about it until yesterday.


Though I have no memory of putting it there, it was hidden inside another book that contains some of my favorite poems. When I went thumbing through it--looking for something special for a friend--the now brown leaf came drifting down, flitting this way and that, just like it had when it fell off the tree a couple of weeks ago.

And to my surprise, it was bookmarking a poem that seems like it was written for the out-of-time feeling me; a poignant reminder that everything truly is happening right in season. 

It reads:

I love the dark hours of my being
in which my senses drop into the deep.
I have found in them, as in old letters,
my private life, that is already lived through,
and become wide and powerful now, like legends.
Then I know that there is room in me
for a second huge and timeless life.
 --Rainer Maria Rilke

As the leaves continue to fall and the life I left behind a closed door is further and further away, I am breathing in the Autumn air. And I'm letting myself revel in what's here now and what's ahead. All this change was right in season, right on time.

Born once. Born twice. In the Fall.

8 comments:

  1. darlin' - nothing strong and brave and free happens without fear needing to be first walked through. It's the shaking of the leaves on our trees of life. our leaves change, they fall down onto the grass floor, decompose into nothing, yet, that nothing sustaining the soil below us until we bloom again. That poem is just perfect! {ps. of COURSE we were both born in the fall. of COURSE}

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  2. "our leaves change, they fall down onto the grass floor, decompose into nothing, yet, that nothing sustaining the soil below us until we bloom again."

    Yes! I'm finally able to grasp this. And for all the writing I've been doing over the past month to try to nail this idea down, you've just done it in one brilliantly precise statement. Thank you my fellow fall-born friend.

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  3. With a growing lump in my throat, I read your words: "Of course, I opened another door when I closed that one. An ancient door. A door to a world that holds secrets and treasures that can only be found once the other door is closed. But I couldn't see that at the time."

    Together through this open door we walk... sharing secrets and treasures...

    Your pen is mighty, dearest Angela! Sending hugs...

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  4. Thank you, Angela! You have said in words what my heart longs to say…May God grant you His peace as you step into His arms and your future.

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  5. go ahead, friend...lay in the grass and weep. lay in it and laugh, lay in it and rage. each one is a release, a kind of letting go. find your own private idaho and get reborn again and again and again...

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  6. I am so glad you know rilke...there are few poets as good for the soul as he.

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  7. oh my, this gave me chills more than once as I read it and by the end my vision was blurry with tears. I hope you sit under as many trees as you need to to find your seasonal peace. Their shadows speak to me every time I run to them for comfort, and even after a thousand blooms or deaths, no matter what country they are rooted in, they still shelter my insecurities. I loved every bit of your story.

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