Walking through an autumn-strewn pathway, hearing the crunch of fallen leaves, you can’t help but stir up their dusky aroma – even better drop your toes down into them and flip them into the air. Best yet, of course, is letting that little child within jump into a pile of them. Hmmm….. It doesn’t get any better. Along with the stirring up fragrances, it gives us a change to stir up deep thoughts and evaluations of our lives.
There’s something quite wondrous about a walk on a brisk autumn day. It gives us a moment to reflect on life and how far we’ve come in our dream fulfillments. We all had many choices along the way – different paths, or different special momentary interests that pulled us off the dream for just a little while. Then, by the time we stepped back on track, it often felt as if we had missed something – an opportunity, a chance to do something spectacular. Don’t think you are the only one to feel the disappointments. They are a personal loss, even if they were never meant to occur in your life. At eighteen, I vowed I’d go sky-diving when I was old enough not to require parental permission. Would I have been a different person had I followed that dream?
In a recent article Jonathan Young, Ph.D. spoke of a trip he had taken into the majestic redwoods in Northern California where he noted the special ability these forests seem to have in holding time – pausing just a moment longer before the complete changes of seasons occurs:
“In this interlude, we observe ourselves clearer than at other moments. We might find ourselves taking a personal inventory. In the end, it’s fair to say we are what we have been paying attention to. That is, we gradually create who we are by what we’ve been doing.”
Dr. Young continues with the thoughts that Autumn is a time of renewal and reflection. Moment by moment we have the ability to open our awareness to what it is we are working toward and measuring whether our focus at any given time is in alignment with the goals we have set for ourselves. If we learn and practice this early enough in our lives, we will be able to steer clear of those momentary temptations that could derail us completely. Most of us, however, do not attain this clarity of thought until later in life.
Continuing, Dr. Young’s words awaken us:
“Anticipation has a distinct quality. Beginnings have an excitement. Those who have clear plans to do something new in the fall will probably be moving briskly now. The feeling of getting back into the action is welcome. It’s good to be getting on with the journey….
“As we think about what to do…, we may…try something really different. One strategy for stirring creativity is to revisit an activity we enjoyed in childhood. The altered state called flow, that is the core of inspiration, is the same as the engrossed focus a child has during playtime….
“…[T]he future exists now in our yearnings. These are the seeds we can plant with care and energy. We can’t know in advance the exact outcome of our efforts, but perhaps it is not as important to know precisely what will come, as to know that we can create something new for ourselves.”
The gift in this foresight may have been lost to our youthful energies, but we have the opportunity to change and renew our focus as long as we are still breathing. It is never too late to welcome the gracious gift of Spirit’s blessings and eagerly and energetically step into a new beginning.