Autumnal Eulogy: a lesson in Gratitude

The first rain of autumn fell, marking the harvest and the cleansing of summer’s bounty.  I’m always impressed by fall; how she summons a sense of gratitude, nostalgia, paradox, and hope and melds them into a blazing display as she prepares us for the death of the year.

I like to think that autumn gathers the material for a eulogy of sorts;  a kind of tribute to all that has culminated in yet another solar cycle.  The kind of wake or celebration that you might fathom holding in life, where loved ones could let them know how they feel, and what you’ve meant to them, and help you to see your own legacy.  Many of the people that I’ve known who have passed on never knew how much they were loved…  they never saw the fruits of their love.  One exception was a dear friend that dared to ask others not to give her presents for her birthday, but to simply write about a treasured memory, or about how their relationship had enriched their lives.  She did this about a year before she passed on, and she went knowing that she had touched others in her life.

Sometimes it is hard to continue to love those outside our circle (or even inside) when we don’t see the results.  I have been blessed to know many people who defy this statement, but I unfortunately have felt both ends of the spectrum…  at times, I have found myself reaching out for strangers with a sense of compassion and empathy that surprised me, yet at other times, I’ve struggled to remember why I chose many of the people, places, jobs or activities in my life.  But when I look at the changing leaves, the contrast of the bright colors against a grey sky, and the carpet of pine needles spreading across the road, I remember that old bible verse, “To every thing, there is a season” and I hear the mission statement of my spiritual community on the wind… “We are here to Love, Serve, and Remember”.  Just as when my son gives me a hug on my worst days,  the piece of me that began to harden melts and I get back in touch with my own soul purpose.

This year, my Holy-Day gift will be simple.  I will be writing each of the loved ones in my life and letting them know what they mean to me.  And I will remember how much I have been ~ and remain~ Blessed…

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