This week’s theme is Letting Go.
Summer is my favorite season. In New England, where I live, summer is balmy heat with blasts of brutal humidity, the sun not setting until 9:00pm, lobster rolls, clambakes, glorious perennial gardens, live bands at local vineyards, and weekends at the beach – Newport, Watch Hill, Cape Cod, the Long Island Sound. Knowing that summer won’t last forever, that a long winter looms, makes the lazy, hazy days of summer all the more special.
Yet for all the joys of summer, it doesn’t tug at my heart the way autumn does.
There is a crispness to autumn in New England that is uniquely its own. The scents of fires flowing from chimneys, apples ripening in orchards, and change permeate the air. Leaves rustle underfoot during hikes, squirrels rush about burying nuts, and garlands of leaves mingle with ghosts on front porches.
But the best part of autumn is its promise of letting go.
Some people see spring as the season of new beginnings, but to me autumn is the fresh start. Leaves burst with vibrant colors before they fall and die off. There is beauty, a hope even, in this dying off that resonates with me. It feels like nostalgia, like making peace with the past, shedding what no longer serves to make room for something new. The leaves don’t cling desperately to the trees. They let go with grace at just the right time. We humans might do the same.
A long winter lies ahead, yet like the leaves, we mustn’t cling to these last days of autumn before cold isolation takes over. We must embrace them, savior each and every one, be present and mindful, and when the time is right, gracefully let go.