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Fall Symbolizes Change

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I learned to love fall as a child, watching in delight as the world transformed into a warm canvas of rich reds, oranges, and yellows before my eyes. I enjoyed carving pumpkins, roasting marshmallows, and going to fall festivals. I collected leaf piles with my siblings and romped around in them; we would fall asleep later with hot cocoa still warm in our bellies. Fall still means so much to me, but this year it’s for a completely different reason.

The past season has been tough on me. It seems as though bad things are always happening, consecutively even, like some sort of grand nightmare that has found its way into reality. I’ve fought with friends and family. Promises have been broken. My boyfriend of two years ended our relationship abruptly. These are just off the top of my head. It constantly feels as if I’ve been stripped of all the good things in life—as if I’ve been trapped. It is proving to be unbelievably difficult to push these things from my mind and heart. I put on a brave face in public but weep when I’m alone, bullying myself with the thought of what could have been.

Yet, when I sit outside and watch the sunlight dapple on the golden leaves and see them transform and dance in the wind as they fall, I am reminded of change and of loss. The concepts of these things have never been as clear as they are now in my mind. It’s a calming thing, a healing thing, to see them at work in nature.

Recently my friend Katherine lent me her copy of Bittersweet, a collection of memoirs by Shauna Niquist. The book has offered me an endless amount of good advice. My favorite quotation by far, however, is “unravel the knots that keep you from living a healthy life, and do it now before any time passes.”

Fall marks the season that I begin unraveling. I will brace the bad things coming my way, and let them render me motionless. I will remember to think clearly, and to allow myself to cope with the negativity. I will indulge in a cup or two of hot cocoa and maybe carve a few pumpkins. Above all, I will remember that there is a time for loss and for growth and that spring will come again.




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