It's October and here in California it's barely starting to feel like fall. The leaves are turning colors that make me say ahhh...In the park behind our house so many leaves have fallen off the trees that I find myself wanting to go back there and run through the leaves, pick them up and throw them in the air, stomp on them and hear them crunch, roll in them. Sound fun? It does to me, but I was kind of hoping for a small child or at least equally child-like adult to do it with me so that children playing back there don't feel afraid of what that white haired lady is up to.
I love fall, and really, when I think of it, I always feel ready to welcome the new season. I look forward to the joys that each season offers and feel ready for it when it comes. Why can't I be quite that way when it comes to changes in my life? I know that fall must occur to make room for winter, which while it is cold and wet and not my favorite season, there is also a wonderful depth to it, the darkness of winter that allows us to go within, to be more still and to nurture ourselves and others. While I may miss the warmth of summer, I don't think, "gee is fall really the right choice? Shouldn't we go back to summer when things were warm and sunny?"
There is a holding onto that occurs with life changes. We look back, and say - should I have done that? Was that really the right/best choice? I want to be able to welcome the seasons of my life in the same way I welcome nature's seasons, to look at my changes and transitions and say, yes, I am ready and welcoming of this new phase of my life, bring it on. To let go completely of the old and embrace the new with open arms feels empowering, yet I know it is hard.
I have written here before about my challenges with letting go of my "children". Heck they are 23 and 26, hardly children but letting go of them has meant some suffering on my part. I think what it has taken for me is redefinning my relationships with them and experiencing them blossoming into something so much richer and wonderful. I know much of my looking back with sadness was the regret -- how I might have spent more time with them, worked less, been more patient, etc etc. I have learned to forgive myself; my children did. In fact, hearing them talk about their childhoods, they have happy memories, and feel they were parented well. What more could a parent want?
Now I can embrace what is now, no looking back but only looking forward in these ever evolving relationships I have with them. What seemed impossible only a few years ago is now reality. They have created their own lives as happy and independent adults. Watching them move through their lives with such integrity and maturity is so amazing and I will take that wonderful new season for them. Yes the summer of their lives was fun and cute, but this new season they are in -- is so awesome, and I am so proud of them. I can look forward to metaphorically playing in those leaves with them as they mature and share their experiences with me in a whole new way. I'm ready