a new monthA new month, the calendar says.
And I leave behind the turbulent
memories & emotions of October,
step carefully into November,
pausing at the brink to scan
the road ahead for potholes
and pitfalls, realizing all the while
that I cannot know what lies in wait
around that distant turn, hoping
only that the roads I have taken
thus far have prepared me well.
And perhaps what lurks ahead,
beyond the hills and valleys
I can see is joyful surprise-
the gift and grace of laughter,
the wonder of delight.
A new month-
I wrote this poem five years ago, a year when October had
been especially difficult for me, as I recalled the death of my
first husband, my bout with breast cancer, and the birthday
of my dad who had died years earlier but whom I still dearly
missed. As a child, I had loved autumn, but for many of my
adult years, autumn had become a season which, though I
continued to revel in nature's colors and the feel of the air,
swishing through falling leaves and breathing the smell of
wood smoke, brought a unique kind of sadness which served
to dull the joy and wonder of the season. It was truly a heavy
time...a time when I felt especially weighted by the burden of
sadness and loss.
However, over time this heaviness has eased, and autumn
has once again become my favorite season, due in part, I
think, to my being firmly in the waning autumn of my life's
years...lovely, filled with color and delight, but tempered with
the realistic awareness that the gorgeous leaves will one day
fall from the outstretched arms of the trees to the ground,
where only resurrection will restore their former beauty.
This autumn has been especially beautiful, with the joy-
filled task of re-doing my upstairs- painting, reordering,
making of the two bedrooms and bath a lovely, art-filled
nest for myself and whomever may be my guest. And I
had the special gift of a week-long visit from my dear and
precious friend, Mae...a week of going and doing and sitting
and talking and sharing...a week which sped by but which was
filled with so many wonderful moments I can turn over in my
memory for months to come.
Then there was the fun of seeing our friend, Innocent, a
young artist from Rwanda who had come to North Carolina
for a special artists' colony experience, bringing with him
one of his paintings which I had purchased and which is now
being re-stretched for hanging in my living room. Add to
this, time with all three of my children in October, and my
cup truly runneth over.
But if you want to see why I find autumn in Carolina so
visually delightful, take a look at the photos I have taken
in the past several days, just in my own neighborhood.
The path to my house is filled with leaves, just for the swishing, and
inside my cottage of a house a welcoming fire and hot cup of tea
awaits, Welcome, friends...welcome, November...welcome life.`