Monday, October 27, 2008

As Leaves Turn Gold

Too soon the brilliant reds of autumn fade away. The landscape along the river is now dominated by the muted oranges and browns of maples and the yellows of poplar trees. In the sunshine everything turns to burnished gold.

How perfectly the seasons parallel our life cycles! Whether or not we cling to youth, it falls behind us as we ramble into middle age. Maybe we don’t run as fast, or turn heads the way we used to, but there is a richness that only comes with age. I find comfort in knowing who I am and what I truly value. I am at peace in solitude and appreciate company when it’s there.

Many people find change unsettling, seeing only the losses pile up as they grow older. Yet this is a natural unfolding. There’s an advantage to cutting back and slowing down. We can more easily pause in our routines to absorb the moment – stopping to watch the pink sky at sunset or to hear children’s laughter as they play.

On my walk there’s a blur of black and white as a kingfisher swoops over the water and then disappears into the trees. These days I am more fully aware of the transience of life. I enjoy who and what is around me, knowing they will not last. I appreciate the opportunity to make a difference and use my gifts while I can.

One day I will be like these dry leaves underfoot – feeding the soil that nourished me for so long.