Ode To An Autumn Woods

IMG_9410

Ode To An Autumn Woods

Oh, autumn woods, I thank you!
So many lessons learned beneath your trees,
You’ve taught me what to do.
You’ve guided with your gentle breeze.
But it’s time.
Your tree’s brilliant colors captivate!
Reds mixed with yellow and hues of green and brown.
You told each leaf that it’s time to celebrate.
Listen! The leaves are applauding all around.
It’s time.
Change is happening. I can see it in the sky.
Summer’s warmth, while so sublime
Now chillingly says “It’s time to fly.”
Time to let go. It’s time…
It’s time.
Then the winds grow still all around
A quiet respect fills the air.
Geese take to the sky with a mournful sound.
“Good-bye”, they seem to share.
It’s time.
Colors explode with each new day.
Trees still filled with brilliant splendor all around.
Then suddenly the leaves exclaim, “I can no longer stay.”
And they drift, unceremoniously, to the ground.
It’s time.
The leaves are now a burden to the tree
But they did their job and they loved it so.
Drifting, floating, suddenly free
They understand. They need to let go.
It’s time.
The sun peaks out from behind a cloud
Shining, now easily, through branches of the tree.
“Don’t be sad”, it seems to say out loud.
“I’ll put sparkle elsewhere, you’ll see.”
It’s time.
Animals are busy, scurrying about
Gathering food to tuck away.
It’s like they’re telling me, “There’s little doubt
We must prepare for another day.”
It’s time.
Plants, dropping seeds everywhere, you’ll find.
They tell us this is how they survive.
They say, “Leave a little bit of yourself behind.
Then you, too, will stay alive.
It’s time.
Oh autumn woods, it’s so hard to say good-bye.
“Don’t worry, my child, you’ll be fine, you know.
It’s time, now, for you to learn how to fly.
You can do it. You just have to let go.
It’s time, you know. It’s time.

Today’s Challenge To Myself

To have a beautiful life,
find the beauty in everything.
Sarah Marie Thompson

Ok, I need to play this out. This is the month from hell. Rethinking it as beauty, is today’s challenge to myself.

My daughter, her husband, and my grandson are leaving.

Sadness

Beauty

I will no longer take care of my grandson 3 days a week. What a gift it has been to have been allowed to care for him for nearly 2 years.
I will miss the time I have spent with this daughter.  She was so insistent that I get involved with her passion.  So, I spent time volunteering to stuff envelopes, run errands, and help out at events. I was able to be part of the magic that is First Stage, a children’s theater academy.  I was able to help my daughter but I ended up feeling like part of a greater family.
I worry for my daughter.  She has left friends, family, and a job she loved to make this move. I am proud of my daughter.  She loves her husband so much.  She is, selflessly, turning the spotlight on him right now. That’s true love.
And the hardest part of all is that they will all be so far away.  Thankfully, there are such things as Face Time now.  Video chats can happen every day, if we choose.

I am moving too!

Sadness

Beauty

I somehow found myself renting a place that actually faces a nature preserve. This beautiful space has been my meditation space for 3 years. I am moving closer to another daughter.  We can easily walk to each other’s place whenever we want to.
When I first moved here, the animals that came out of the woods, scared me a bit.  Raccoons would peer right into my patio door at night.  Now, we have become comfortable with each other.  I will miss their visits. I, now, have such a beautiful appreciation for the gentle nature of animals.  They have taught me so much about resilience, risk taking, and simply being gentle with myself.  Their messages will live with me forever.
The paths into the woods were just steps away from my back door.  Walking these paths has become a time of true meditation. I have found something that brings me peace when I am troubled.  I know, now, that it’s worth a small drive to spend time in such a sanctuary.
Why would I leave such a beautiful place?  Rent!  My income will not increase but the rent goes up each year.  That fact makes it too difficult to stay. My rent will go down substantially with this move allowing me the extra cash I will need, now, for airline tickets to visit my other daughter and grandson.

You know, I think this worked. Maybe just for the moment but this was a great way to refocus my brain.

Grief

How can I write of joy
When my heart weeps?                                                                                                           I have to let go of precious moments
They were never mine to keep?

Words on paper
Bleed with sadness.
Exhausted, I scream,
“Get me out of this madness!”

Make this feeling go away!

Each day
Again, I try.
Be strong. You got this.
Still, I cry.

Time passes
Images play with my brain.
Pictures of those precious moments,
Tears fall like rain.

Please God, find me a sunny day.

I can’t find the words
That will make this ok.
Is there some lesson
That I’m supposed to take away?

What is the lesson?
Just tell me, please!
I’m broken and spent.
I’m down on my knees.

God, say what you need to say.

“Understand that the sun
doesn’t automatically shine every day.
Storms and clouds are sent as reminders.
Appreciate the sun’s glow or it will be hidden away.

But know, that the sun,
While hidden from view.
Has not gone away.
It’s there…waiting for you.”

I choose?  I CHOOSE! It’s up to me to bring the sun out today.

Out Of Darkness

IMG_0005

It’s been years now; twenty-one to be exact, since I was shocked into the realization that you had decided to leave.  You left!  Done.  Over.  Your “Life” would breathe no more.  Your “Life”, finished.

I screamed, “NO!”  I sobbed and, through the tears, I raced…raced to grab your girls.  Raced to hold them, to let them know that I was still here.  I didn’t want to let them go. But “Life” moves on.

People wanted to talk.  People needed me to answer questions.  People wanted to cry with me. In my head, I’m thinking that they also wanted to judge me.  “This is your fault!”  But instead, I heard people say “I should have known.”  “I should have seen the signs.” “I should have reached out.”  “He called me yesterday and I didn’t have time to talk. I should have taken the time.”

Time passes.  “Life” goes on.  Events happen that you should have been present for.  Your girls graduated from high school.  They went on to college.  You were not there to help them choose career paths.  They, each, spent a semester in London.  I worried for both of us for their safe travels and returns.  You were not there for their college graduations either, or to help encourage them through job interviews, or to move them time and again from apartment after apartment and finally to real homes.  I walked both of your daughters down the aisle on their wedding days and you missed the birth of your first grand child.

You missed it all…or did you?

Twenty-one years have passed since you left.  You didn’t even say “Good-bye.”  Everyone has a “Life” journey.  Were you supposed to end your’s at that moment?  Were you supposed to just disappear?  You know, your choice changed our “Life”.  Your decision changed our journey.  You know, we still remember you.  We still grieve your choice to leave this “Life” behind.

Yet, out of the darkness, your girls have grown strong, supportive, resilient.  Out of the darkness, we still hold each other tight.  We want to believe that you have been there still.  Out of the darkness, we, now, see you in a different kind of “Life”.  We think it was you who kept them safe in London, helped them find great jobs, made sure that the sun shined bright on their wedding days.  And it is you, now, who watches over your grandson. who is the joy in all of our lives.

Out of the darkness,  we know you are there and we love you…still.