Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Philosophy In The Face Of Fall
I woke up this morning and the feel of the air, the way the light slanted and the quality of it, gave more credence to the coming of fall. I laid in bed and thought about how this is not my favorite time of year, despite the beauty of it. It represents so much that is difficult for me and I felt my heart grow a bit smaller, a bit more stony.
I've taken my walk and I ran into a woman at the Post Office whom I've known forever and she was upset. Her relationship with her grown daughter has been difficult for the daughter's entire life and now she lives some distance away, is not talking to her mother, does not allow her to speak to her grandchildren. It made me realize how very lucky I am. I have four children, not just one, and all of them seem to like me okay and well, we know how it is with my grandkids. And I do realize that this woman's relationship with her daughter is not entirely the daughter's fault by any means. We all raise our children differently. We come to parenthood with so many different things in place ranging from our own natural inclinations to the relationship we may have with the other parent of the child, to the way we ourselves were raised, to where we fit into a community, the personality of the individual child- all of these things and more are part and parcel of how we treat and speak to and love and raise our children.
Seeing this woman, hearing the grief in her voice didn't exactly slap me into a better place, emotionally, but it reminded me of what is truly important.
It reminded me that I have gotten a few things right, whether by luck, chance, or design. I would give luck and chance the heavier weight in this equation, speaking personally, but whatever- I know how fucking lucky I am.
Fall is a time where it is almost impossible to avoid looking back- to feel as if another year, another opportunity, is coming to a close. To feel the weight of all the falls in one's life. The falls defined as autumn, the falls defined as stumbles resulting in hitting the ground.
After a certain age, there seem to be an infinite number of both and just as the body remembers anniversaries whether we consciously do or not, it also seems, for me, to keep track of the years in seasons in some indefinable way.
Fall is the end of summer's fecund growth and it is the beginning of other things which can be difficult for me. But what can you do?
Make soup and take your walks and braid up your hair and wait for your grandsons. Notice the butterflies dancing over the blooming wildflowers in the fields, be aware of the blooming hurricane lilies, the giant pink blossoms of the Confederate Rose. Get the garden ready for the winter greens, be grateful for the cooler weather. Hang on to the knowledge that every day is a beginning as true as spring, an ending as real as winter. It all flows into one large continuum, one circle which is never-ending in some sense of the word, despite my short time here with it as this conscious being that I am now.
That's all I can do, I think. To take comfort in that awareness, those small actions, to know that my presence here on earth is of such little importance. I think that the idea of that is terrifying to some, but to me it is a blessing-thought.
Well, that's what I'm thinking about today on this more temperate day in North Florida as the earth tilts towards fall, towards winter, and then eventually towards spring again. I am here now, someday I won't be.
Simple as that and as complex.
Light and love. Pay attention.