This is my autumn: Our trees starting to turn to brilliance, my life changing too. I no longer expect the days to go on and on. I am moving toward my final yielding.

I recently celebrated my 80th birthday. At the end of my poem, "After Eighty," I wrote:

… Living is about continual change.

We, too, change.

We drop our blossoms and leaves

as we await time to begin

in a new season,

as we learn to let go, again and again

to what is.

Autumn is my favorite season. It’s a time of surrendering, letting go and, for me, moving toward a quieter, more introverted time. I recently wrote several poems about autumn and found a journal entry that expresses turning, a change in perception.

Maple Tree

Lush green leaves

Turn slowly to bright red

She will blaze in brilliance

before she begins to release

her dying leaves.

A last shining of her life fulfilled

in obedience to a higher will.

The world turns to autumn.

Summer gives a last sigh,

she bows her head in surrender.


The moon rises

on the lunar phase of my life.

Darkness comes early

There is more dark than light

these fall days.

As I turn away from busy thoughts and actions

I become more careful, discerning.

Quiet moments; precious and lovely.

The season has turned

from the frenzy of summer days

to the stillness of early evening light.

Sometime letting go, turning to a new season, is a matter of changing perspective; seeing the same issue or event with new eyes. Transforming a negative thought or view into its opposite — to dwell, not on the challenges of old age, but on gratitude for its many blessings.

Autumn is the time of harvest. To reap my inner harvest I need quiet and solitude. One of the blessings for me of being in the autumn stage of my life is that I can choose to remove myself from an active, extroverted life and take the time to review and to be grateful for what I have and for what is still to be born.

The strong web held

Through trials and storm

Shines now.

Drops of water glisten

On its branches.

My life journey revealed in the morning light.

Patient weaving

Has led me to this table,

To this small window

That looks out in all seasons

On maple, hawthorn and pine.

Sacred space

Where I practice the songs

That take me home.

Nancy Anderson taught young children in public schools for more than 20 years. With a master’s degree in Human Development, she became an early literacy consultant to schools in Southern California. She has lived in Ashland for 15 years. She is the author of "Dancing With Grace," a poetry memoir.

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