IMG_5903One of my favorite parts of our Utah trip was being able to be present to the onset of autumn. The southern part of the state had just begun to see its early nights of frost, especially in the higher elevations (this was taken at around 9,000 feet).  It seemed a sacred thing to be present to this shift, the Paschal Mystery of the earth, when inherent in the dying is the promise of new life to come.

I often wish that Southern California surrendered to this cycle more deeply, but there are few trees here that become brilliant in the autumn. It just never really gets cold enough. Perhaps this is why I cherish the opportunity to witness it in person. I had a deep reverence for the process of it all.

Sometimes I wonder if I am not patient enough with the natural seasons that cycle through my own life. Certainly it can’t always be summer–the fun, lazy days. And likewise, no winter is forever, even when I can’t seem to get warm enough in front of our fireplace. Perhaps autumn is so bittersweet because its beauty inevitably means a dying back, and yet it is impossible to see autumn without knowing that its counterpart, spring, will burst forth like a phoenix in less than half a year’s time. My own personal cycles of autumn–of the dying back, even when I can attest to the beautiful colors of my inner transformations–sometimes feel overwhelming, and I forget the promise of spring. All I can think about is hunkering down for the winter.

Yet the colors, I think, are in part a reminder to be present–and to acknowledge that all things bow to the passage of time. Even the hard parts.

With every autumn, then, there is inherent hope…even when the bittersweetness dominates the landscape. Hope transcends, because it is part of the cycle. It’s part of the promise.


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