Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Autumn Limbo

As I sit here on the porch, engulfed in the foggy mist of the morning, serenaded by the sound of rain, I reflect on the past weeks and potential of the weeks to come. 

A little over a week ago, the rain was a looming foe, threatening to befall the long anticipate outdoor wedding on the Metolius River. We had planned for it for months. (I pause now as I watch an eagle chasing a seagull, wondering if they are playing or if there is danger lurking, but the eagle swoops down searching for other prey in the water.) Returning to my thoughts, the wedding thrived, with Mother Nature's forgiving hand, and we embraced the rain, the mud, the moments of clarity and pause, and the inevitability of our lack of control, over things we cannot control but wish we could.

I ponder this poignant time of year. The ending of things, the letting go, surrendering to the season. It is difficult to see through the pouring rain and grey mist. 

Difficult to see the potential that lies ahead. It is a time when one feels compelled to hang onto what remains, be it a memory, a relationship or a single leaf, hanging on by an unseeable thread of spider web. The leaf appears to be floating in limbo, somewhere between holding on and letting go. Who knows how long it will remain that way.

 I have been watching it for days, wondering when whatever has its hold on it will release it to the ground to join the others. I see this leaf blowing in the wind, wondering how the pouring rain doesn't release it from this seemingly invisible hold. The time will come when it is out of any control. In fact, the leaf has no choice at all in the matter. It has already surrendered from it's tree of belonging, and is now tethered to an unfamiliar one, for some unknown and uncontrollable reason. It is nature's way.

One gust of wind, or a raindrop strategically directed, will change everything. The leaf wiggles and floats and flies and seems to be either pulling away or surrendering to the pull. In between, there are moments of pure stillness.

The sound of the rain is all I can hear right now. It is all I want to hear. This music is so comforting, I just want to drown in it. This leaf in limbo, is all I want to watch right now. I don't want to move from this spot, for fear that I will miss the moment when it free falls, and the state of limbo ends. When the surrender becomes final.

For me, it feels like time is standing still. I sit here, feeling the pull to be somewhere else, doing something else. It feels like a "have to" not a want to. I just want this moment to never end. One by one, I watch the other coral hued leaves, gracefully falling, as they surrender to the whim of nature, as they do every season. Their dance of surrender is so natural, free from struggle. It can't be any other way.

Yet this lone leaf, attached to a tree that it doesn't belong to, is stuck, or possibly given respite for a time. It is a spent leaf tethered to an evergreen, out of it's element for this moment. Who knows for how long. 

The time will come for surrender, for moving on to the next chapter, what seems like the ending. Then the cycle of time will eventually bring a new beginning, but there is much time for that.

The winter will be long. I yearn for the permission to go inward, to hibernate, to wait for the push forward to feel like an intentional step forward. What would it feel like to just surrender to the season, to what is, to accept the endings and not know what beginnings lie ahead. To hold on for the moment and let go when it is time, when there is no reason beyond it just being time to yield to the inevitable.......


chocolate.karats said...

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”
― Edith Sitwell

Susan Gallacher-Turner said...

Wonderful post, Jo. I'm so glad the wedding was 'mud luscious' in the words of ee Cummings.
Blessings to you as you (and I) hunker down with Mother Nature.