I Guess That Is What Autumn Means?
When poets, musicians and bards speak of the seasons, they speak of the cycle of life. Birth, life, death. The never ending cycle that none with a soul and a heartbeat can avoid.
I like to think of autumn in philosophical ways as I crunch the leaves under my feet. Ah yes, the earth must turn. The leaves must turn brown. My hair must turn gray.
But really, autumn isn’t quite just a philosophical thing for me anymore. I guess as years go by I have racked up painful scarred notches on my soul. Reminders. Injuries that push me from the figurative to the literal.
We are just a week away from the Thanksgiving holiday, and I am reminded that the anniversary of my father’s birth is also next week. He always favored an apple pie for his birthday, which occasionally fell on the actual day of Thanksgiving.
It has been almost nine years since he passed, and this autumn day has caused me to think of my father, and the deep well of sadness that I will likely not ever recover from.
His death broke something inside of me. Resolve? Courage? Strength? I don’t know. I do know that in the wake of his passing, I cry a lot easier. I get sad a lot more quickly. I grieve more profoundly. And I love with gusto because time is always ticking away. The world does not stop turning. The leaves cannot help but turn brown.
Today, when coworkers casually passed me in the hallway and asked, “How was your weekend?” by way of making small talk, my answer couldn’t be the usual “Fine, and you?” Sure, I said that a few times. And a few other times I said, “Actually, I had quite a terrible weekend.”
It’s true, but not everyone wants or cares about the truth when crossing paths in the break room on the way to the coffee machine on a Monday morning. Lying is hard for me.
My precious Feline is sick. A few months ago we knew she was sick but it didn’t seem terminal. Two months later and it’s not good. She spent the weekend at a pet hospital where too many people grabbed at her and poked needles in her and she wasn’t at home with her humans.
She’s home now, and that helps. They sent us home with bags full of medications and regimens. We cannot cure her, we can only make the symptoms a little less awful.
The prognosis is tough to make. She may live another year. She may only live until tonight. I have no idea.
But the clock is ticking. As I watch her lose weight and refuse to eat I know that the specter of death looms large. As large at the oak trees that line my residential street, spilling their leaves and showing me their skeletons.
This is autumn. As sure as I am not ready for pumpkin spice lattes, I’m also not ready for what this autumn has in store.
Photo Copyright 2013, Karen Fayeth
Photo Copyright 2013, Karen Fayeth, and subject to the Creative Commons license in the right column of this page. Taken with an iPhone5 and the Camera+ app.