In the Fall

As I was driving this morning I was struck by the colors of the trees. Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the cooler weather, the bright colors of the leaves, the angle of the sun, the quieting down and the introspection. It struck me this morning that fall also means the leaves will fall soon. And as I thought about the falling of the leaves, I reminded myself that it is not the leaves falling that I should anticipate, it is the current colors and vibrancy that I should appreciate.

It's not so easy, this "attitude of gratitude" but at a time of Thanksgiving, it is important and it is uplifting and it is a way of looking at and living life that creates peace and calm inside. Yet this appreciation for what is instead of dread for what's coming is not so easy for many people.

Certainly when we are going through difficult times we neither want to focus on the future (and the uncertainty of what lies ahead), nor do we want to stay stuck in the present (where we may be experiencing drama and angst). And in those times, maybe the very best we can do is to pick something beautiful and inspiring and stick with that, if even for just a moment. Getting embedded and entrenched in something that tugs at our heart, soaking our hearts with beauty and being still just in that moment, opens us up just a little for the light to enter in.

In appreciating just one thing, in admiring just one object, in immersing ourselves in just one delight, we can get back to ourselves. We can step beyond our current experience and we can step away from the difficulties. We can emerge from the dark and cling to the hope of what can be. We can try, our very best, to be thankful for just one moment, to look at the trees and sigh and wonder at the colors of the leaves, breathe in the cooler air to refresh our lungs and our spirit, and understand and appreciate that what is will not stay forever, but it can be enough for today and sing us into tomorrow.

Happy Thanksgiving to All. After all, this is the life.