Fall has always been a very challenging time of year for me. I routinely joke with friends that I was “born in the wrong place.” For my particular body type, eighty-five or even ninety degrees Fahrenheit feels just right. So, in northern Ohio where I live, when the temps begin to drop in autumn, it’s challenging to stay Present with all the different sensations in my physical form.
As I watch the trees shift from green to yellow to brown, there is often a feeling of dread. I watch, day by day, as the grass dries, the flowers curl and blow away, and there are fewer and fewer children playing outside in the park near my home.
Each year at this time, the courage within me must rise again. I must find it within me to accept the choice that I have made to remain living here and not move south (there are many good reasons). I must find it within me to bade farewell to the beauty and the comfort of summer. I must breathe deep and find, somehow, the gratitude for life that lies within me.
As a friend of mine, Unity minister Claudia Tambur, writes in her recent blog: “Now is not the time to cling to what has been.”
Indeed. Now is not the time to cling. Not the time to look back.
Now is not the time for allowing the old paradigms of sadness and grief to overwhelm and engulf the heart. Now is not the time for fear.
Instead, what is called for now—for me and for all us who are facing challenging life circumstances—is a gentle letting go. A feeling of gratitude for what is passing. And a feeling of trust that the future is, indeed, going to be wonderful.
I am reminded of a Native American tribe, The Lakota. They do not have a word in their language that means “goodbye.” Instead, the tribe uses “toksa,” a term meaning “see you later” or “see you next time.”
The Lakota remind us that there will always be a next time, whether in this lifetime or the next.
There will always be another summer.
It may be easy to forget the Truth, in this dense world of appearances…but the Truth remains the Truth: We are infinite, immortal consciousness. We are light.
We are souls, temporarily inhabiting a body, a form.
We die, and then we are reborn. We love, and then we let go.
We spin and spin, on this wondrous cycle of life.
As we each take a moment to usher in the fall season this year, let us bow our heads and say, “Thank you.”
Let us not say goodbye…let us say “toksa.”
Let us smile, even at the dying leaves.