Fall is my favorite time of year. Depending on where you find yourself this season, nature may provide undeniable displays of transformation. The vegetation found in the Pacific Northwest, for example, will soon become an attractive kaleidoscope of autumn colors. But beautiful horizons are not solely responsible for my excitement. For me, fall represents a chance to regroup, to transform. It provides an opportunity to shed the actions that no longer serve us. Just as an amber leaf of a deciduous tree finds freedom in the slightest breeze, we too can let go of expiring attachments.
Sadly, however, humans do not detach as effortlessly as plant life does. It certainly is not in my nature to shed things or concepts once useful. I grasp lifeless formulas in hopes of resuscitating the success they once bestowed. Misguided energy gnarls my trunk and my limbs bare only the midribs or skeletons of former leaves. I embody the spooky tree that frightened me as a kid.
As fire season winds down, the number of days on the ground steadily grows as does my disgust with my chosen profession. Though going home signifies unemployment, it offers a reprieve from the monotony. Unemployment presents an opportunity to commit myself to what excites me: writing.
Last winter I started a non-fiction book, took a few college classes, attended a writing conference, completed an internship with a regional magazine, and maintained a blog. When I wasn’t chasing the paycheck the year prior, I submitted articles and a story destined for a children’s picture book. My heart is here and yet it frightens me to let go of my laurels.
Think of the energy we expend in trying to retain something that wants to fall away. What if we, instead, directed that energy toward the next phase of life and let the fallen leaves decay and nourish our roots? Wouldn't we then thrive with more strength and beauty than before?