I didn’t think the weekend wind would tug so determinedly and so destructively to leave a deliberate sign that autumn is arriving. However, there in what should be a sheltered area behind the lilac bushes, a lone Popular stands defrocked of its leaves, in stark contrast to its fellow deciduous trees. On the ground its pale green leaves lay haphazardly strewn about as if exhausted by their struggle to hold on.
Of course it’s not the first tree to begin brushing branches in silence, leaves no longer rustling, instead fallen or torn away by a frantic, frenzied wind. The last few days Dusty and I have passed by some scattered leaves along our walking path, a foreshadowing of the future as we all face the fall.
But this morning, this empty, barren tree bothers me. Its silhouette looks haunting on this cloudy, grey day with the sun somewhere swallowed in the shifting haze. Perhaps the term Fall is appropriate, even as its arrival is anticipated, it comes along and pushes us, making us fall into it too soon. Like this tree’s unlucky leaves, falling without warning, before they were ready to change.
It occurs to me that I am like those leaves. I didn’t expect to fall so quickly to a different place in my life. The school year has begun, but this year I am not in the classroom helping the resource students to find their potential. Instead, I am still coping with a vestibular disorder that demands a change in my life. I tried to return to school, but the vertigo is like the unrelenting wind to the tree in my backyard. It spins me around as if I’m lost in a maze, it exhausts my concentration as if I am tossed into a lump of confusion. Like the leaves, I am facing a fall before I am ready to change.
Maybe that’s where this blog is headed without me knowing the coordinates. I want to write something meaningful that might impact the lives of others. I want to use my daily life as I explore, observe and share reflections. Perhaps this year as I find myself facing fall, I am actually facing a new beginning. I am ready to walk, (maybe not in a completely balanced way, but who can claim to have a firm grasp of balance in life anyways?); I am ready to find a new way to step out of the confusion of vertigo— and aren’t we all spinning around, creating our own dizzy perspectives of life amidst the daily challenges???
Honestly I do look forward to the signs of September signaling the beginning of a new season. Here in Springbank, Alberta golden hay bales dot the fields, in haphazard fashion like giant connect-the-dots without the numbers. I often notice how a hawk will claim one to acquire a better perch to find its next prey. In the early mornings I’ve spied some antlers poking above the bales, seeming to be tree branches, but on closer inspection revealed as hidden bucks moving through the fields. In the early evenings these same golden dots sparkle against sunsets weaving together the purple and orange shades of autumn.
Yes I believe it’s time to change my view of those fallen leaves. I want them to become like the hay bales … a golden promise of what the season will bring. From my vantage point the leaves look like they were thoroughly tossed, grounded and lumped, strewn and clumped. So I picture myself walking outside with Dusty to have a closer look.
As I approach the tree I feel a slight cool breeze gathering around my feet. When I reach the leaf pile, a gust of wind bursts from behind me, blowing leaves into a swirling motion, concentric rings that grow ever higher, and wider. They catch the current, quickly whisked away above my neighbor’s swaying wild flowers. Dusty attempts to stop one by leaping toward it, briefly capturing it under his paws, only to see it flip upwards above him. As it bumps into the barren tree, I notice that the branches create a striking picture. Knowing that the leaves have travelled to a new destination, I appreciate the tree as the foundation, and the wind as the catalyst.
Now I’m not thinking of the leaves ending their time with the tree, I’m imagining their beginnings as they swirl about on the fall breezes. Yes, I’ve been shaken by a strong gust of change, but perhaps the whirling I feel may be the rising momentum I need to gain a new perspective on this season of life. I may have fallen into some concentric spinning, but I’m not going to stay in a one-dimensional clump of circles. I’m ready to rise, to find the current that will move me onward, to turn golden while facing fall.
How about you? Ready to face fall? More importantly, are you willing to turn golden despite the changes in your life? Dusty and I are going walking, we’re beginning a new trail, join us along the way as we share our ideas in Walking with Dusty and Dee.