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.
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
Drops of water glisten
On its branches.
My life journey revealed in the morning light.
Has led me to this table,
To this small window
That looks out in all seasons
On maple, hawthorn and pine.
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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