Years Later

fall

A Guest Post by Melanie

More than any other season, the coming of fall moves me to remembrance. The crisp air and turning leaves herald anxious first days of school, cross country races, divorce, the beginning and end of my own relationships, death, and the assumption and throwing off of religious beliefs. If anything is going to happen in my life, it happens in the fall. When nature goes into transition, so do I.

As time has passed, I’ve traded the dread of autumn–oh no, my life is going to fall apart, again–for preparation. Anticipating upheaval, why, It’s October and I’ve already lost and gained back the stress weight, feverishly baked pies, brownies, and cookies to impose order on my world, vacillated between sunny and sad music (mostly sad), lived for every solace bringing family phone call, and heck, I’ve even thrown myself into my work with all the intensity of a first year PhD student so that I don’t have to think about things. I still feel the losses, the abject loneliness that comes with things you can’t change, but with time I have the benefit of experience and hindsight to buoy me through it.

Because nobody can tell you at the time:

that eight years after your parent’s divorce, your family will be healed and emerging as something bigger, better.

that seven years after she died that you will have found reserves of love to give that you didn’t know you had.

that five years after he died, you’ll be finding tranquility every day on a bike his memory spurred you to buy.

that five years after he broke your heart and you started to think about your potential, you’ll be well traveled, doing fulfilling work on another coast, and someone you never could have been otherwise.

that two years after you left the church, you’ll be living a life of untrammeled authenticity, boundless hope, and uncomprehendable peace.

Like Eve, I will take what the fall gives me.

Jana

Jana is university administrator and History professor. Her soloblog is http://janaremy.com/pilgrimsteps/

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8 Responses

  1. Kelly Ann says:

    Thank you for sharing this. For me, life has become one huge transition. I too take what the fall gives me. Good luck in all you do.

  2. Lolo says:

    I agree life is one big transition, however I find my most large life changing events come to a head in the fall. Perhaps my soul is in desperate need of renewal and the autumn equinox facilitates this quite well. Last year, I made the choice to divorce. This fall I made the choice to no longer follow my religious tradition. Honestly I’m petrified, but yet my soul can breathe and I feel real, human, happy, and brotherly and siserly love that I’ve never felt so strongly

    so thank you for writing this, as today I’m feeling the fall feelings that have hit my heart quite strongly.

  3. Noah says:

    “Like Eve, I will take what the fall gives me.”

    Wow. That was incredible. When people tell me they love autumn, I just want to role my eyes. Autumn makes me anxious. Like you said, it symbolizes that transition. It’s that sense of change that stresses me out…like life is moving too quickly…I’m getting older too fast. I hate winter too, but it doesn’t have the same psychological impact, because it’s static…not transitional, ie, what’s done is done. I don’t know why you left the Church, but for me, being LDS definitely feels like being in a race–fall is here; winter is coming; when will you be prepared? Are you ever going to be ready?

    But Fall isn’t without it’s promises. Like you seem to be pointing out, it’s the close of one chapter of your life, but it heralds in the commencement of another…the whole do-over effect.

  4. EmilyCC says:

    I love this, Melanie. An insightful look at Fall and very different from the Fall posts I’ve seen on other blogs this time of year. Thanks!

  5. Alisa says:

    Melanie, I hope that in a few years I could write a post just like this. October is a time of anniversaries for me, but not necessarily the good kind. My dad was diagnosed with cancer five years ago, and now has a different kind. Two years ago, a combination of factors marked that October as the beginning of one of the worst seasons of my life. Things are better now, to be sure, but I hope to have the perspective you shared eventually.

    Thank you for this thougthful post!

  6. Melanie says:

    Thank you so much for your heartfelt comments! They mean so much to me.

  7. Ken Kendall says:

    Thank you for the reminder that change and transition are part of life. Not an indication of end and doom. Sometimes it feels that way.

    I am now looking forward to sharing your insight with the readers on my blog
    http://whatsheneedsfromyou.wordpress.com

    I have found much inspiration and wisdom here on this blog as I continue to read it.

    Thank you all.

  8. Brooke says:

    I love this post. Thanks for sharing, Melanie. You have just recruited a new reader of your personal blog. 🙂

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