Here in the Midwest, fall has been mild, dry and warm. I’ve loved the opportunity to be outside in the sunshine, breathing in the smells – the pungency of falling leaves, the earthiness of fields after harvest, the sweetness of crushed overripe apples, and grilled goodness at the football tailgate gathering. I’ve dug roots, hung seed heads, spread leaves to dry for tea. Sometimes, I step outside just to breathe in the richness of the breezes that come before the start of winter.
As I watch the gradual fall of leaves, search for the last of the tomatoes on the vines, and say goodbye to my potted annuals, I am touched by sadness. I spend my days immersed in the story of the seasons. Even knowing that this is part of a cycle doesn’t soothe the emotion of grief and loss – heightened by the fact that time moves even more quickly for me with each passing of this beautiful season. It’s a time to honor those souls that we have known and lost. And a time to make peace with the souls with which we share this beautiful place. And, sometimes to make peace with that part of my self that needs a dose of forgiveness.
I busy myself with tidying up the garden, and finding the bits of plants that I can bring inside to start my plantings for next year. I look down at the seeds that rest in my palm. As a child, I was amazed that a tall plant grew from this tiny hard speck that I thought was a lifeless bit of rock. It was my first experience of something miraculous. As an adult, I never doubt the existence of miracles.
Today is Election Day 2016. While I may not always appreciate my choices, I am indeed thankful that I have a choice. If you haven’t voted yet – please do so. I never doubt the existence of miracles – that communities can thrive, and that individuals can learn, support each other, and live useful lives. It doesn’t stop with voting, but it may start there.