Sometimes I wish I could move as easily as the seasons change: a subtle shifting from day to day, the hot August sun giving way to cool nights, red edging on maple leaves slowly transitioning trees from the green summer to the bright and rusty shades of autumn. It doesn’t seem to bother the trees–the wind comes and the sun goes down earlier, and they give way to the next phase as naturally as they did from winter to spring. I look out and see them standing as sturdy as before, flexible and grounded at once.
But what of those times when the wind turns to gusts, and the weather suddenly shoves cold arctic air over us? What of those times when the branches break and the frost comes too soon, and the dreary gray of November sets in too early? I imagine that, unlike myself, the trees have the wisdom to let go, to get on with the season at hand as if it is like any other gift.
What I am saying is this: I don’t always know how to move with ease. I don’t always know how to be gentle, how to soften myself, how let go of my own expectations and attachments.
But I look at the trees, at their leaves shifting in the wind, their branches bending to catch a bird, and I think, maybe I should start with breath. To breathe deeply and ground myself in the present, and to see that this moment, too, is constantly shifting, energy either moving freely or blocked.
I choose to move freely.
And even as I write this, I feel a small stone of fear inside that I won’t always do so. So to that stone I say: I won’t always move freely. I forgive myself for this. I forgive myself for the hard times and the forgetful times and the angry times. I forgive myself for the fear.
Outside, the trees are changing colors, getting ready to shed their leaves. Breath by breath I am shedding, too, getting ready to move into the colder nights–those nights that throw the sky open and expose everything down to our own exhalations. It’s not always easy, but birth never is. And that’s what this is, after all: every season an invitation to be born into the present.