Saturday, October 24, 2009

A Season of Endings

Sometimes it feels like I live in a metaphor. The crisp, fall weather is filled with endings, leaves dropping, grass turning brown, sunflowers now dark, dry shadows of their former bright selves. Today the Universe offers me a new loss to contemplate and I search for the lesson it brings but find only confusion, weariness and bits of broken trust scattered about among the fallen leaves. I can feel myself slipping backwards toward the abyss so I put on my walking shoes and my iPod with its high energy playlist, turn the volume up and head out toward the lake. Where a glorious sunset reminds me that beauty is a constant that heals the wounds left by an inconsistent world.

Gradually I walk off the lethargy and return refreshed convinced that spring will come but, for now, I need to savor this season. I need to weather this winter of endings. I need to remember that we don't always get what we want but we can always appreciate what we're given. And, while some people in my life may not be able to love me as much as I would like, I can continue to love them and learn to love myself unconditionally. And, I can hold fast to my deep conviction that love is the only thing that holds our world together.

I return to John O'Donohue's beautiful call to love:
"In love, you grow and come home to your self. When you learn to love and to let your self be loved, you come home to the hearth of your own spirit. You are warm and sheltered. ... Love begins with paying attention to others, with an act of gracious self-forgetting. This is the condition in which we grow."
So I recommit myself to paying self-forgetting attention to those I love ... and to paying self-remembering attention to my own spirit. I relax into this season of endings knowing that "This, too, shall pass" but the lessons we learn are with us forever. And, I remember a friend's words: "Isn't life interesting~! The paths we choose, the challenges we face, the hardships we endure and the joy of living. They are all connected."

For now, this is enough ... this and remembering that spring always comes.


  1. Joyce, what a lovely reflection. The pain in your heart is there in the words but so is the hope. "Hope can find a place in a mind missing love." Kay Redfield Jamison wrote that. I think it is one of the most beautiful sentences ever written. In hope. . . .

  2. Maureen ... that is beautiful ... I added it to my quote collection. joyce