This Autumn

It was a beautiful October.

I normally don't get the fuss over fall -- to me it's just a prelude to winter, which I happen to hate. I don't like the cold, I don't like dark mornings, I hate slippery roads and ice and snow and furnaces and all that goes with winter. So fall was nothing more than a couple of weeks of trees losing their leaves and cold temperatures that come way too early for me. 

This year was different, though. I finally got it. Mother nature helped with the glorious display of color she shared all of October. The leaves were beautiful and the weather was crisp (not cold) and I savored every bit of it, knowing that it wasn't going to be around forever. Of course, that awareness of its fleetingness is what made it so delicious.

I learned to appreciate the passage of time; after all it was the reason the leaves had turned so beautiful. Yes, they were weaker and less productive than summer leaves, but the colors were a result of everything the tree had lived all year. Why do we spend so much time mourning times past instead of appreciating how that time has gotten us to where we are?

While spring leaves are fresh and full of promise, fall leaves tell a story and hold a different promise. 

I'm sorry for being so sentimental over a bunch of fallen leaves, trust me, I want to kick myself too -- but this is the mood I've been in this autumn: Grateful and awed by the beauty that surrounds us. 

I lost my father three Octobers ago. As crazy as it would have seemed to me back then, I am at peace with it. I am not OK with it, but I've grown used to it. I used to rail against the things I feared -- death of course, but also aging and accomplishing things and getting other people to see things my way and slowing down and whatever else I was told was outside of my control.

Surely it would be different for me if tried a little bit harder?

It hasn't been. And while I'm not exactly OK with it, I've gotten used to it. I can't control it all, but there is still promise in the story -- even if I can't control it.