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Autumn and death

I’m a summer gal. Always have been. Winter is too damn cold. Spring and Autumn still aren’t quite warm enough. Summer is where it’s at for me. Give me a beach and summer clothes.

But, in the area where we have lived for the last few months, I have grown to love Autumn. Not knowledge of impending winter. Not the washing that won’t dry properly. Not the chilly mornings. But the leaves. The stunning changing of the leaves.

It’s now officially winter here, but over the last 3 months of Autumn I’ve been blown away every day by the beauty of the colours of the leaves. The red, orange, and yellow as they changed. “I love the colours so much, they’re so beautiful” I’d say everyday. And my almost-6 year old would reply (like a bored-of-me teenager) “I know Mum. You say that every day”.

I said it every day because it was true every day. I found it absolutely breath-taking every single day.

And then there were more changes. The leaves began to fall. Until the ground at the park was covered in crisp, crunchy, brown leaves. Perfect for kicking around and jumping in. And then the last couple of weeks, when the trees that were earlier covered in all these stunning colours, sit mostly bare and naked. Their leaves having mostly fallen to the ground and been cleared away now. This is the cycle of nature. Each part has it’s own beauty and is a necessary part of the whole.

Why can’t we embrace death more like this? Why can’t we see that it is just as much a part of nature as the leaves changing and falling and growing back. As the tides coming in, going out, and coming in again. As the moon, cycling through all it’s phases as the month goes by. Death is not so predictable as all of those. The timing can be a surprise. It often is. But this doesn’t make a death any less a part of nature, or any less a part of the beautiful cycle of birth, death, and rebirth.

Death creates change, it clears space for the new. From all destruction comes creation…and from all creation comes destruction.

Death is never the end (no matter what your spiritual beliefs). Our bodies ultimately return to nature in some way or another. All lives have an impact – touching others, changing others’ courses, creating change in those around them. And death does the same. No-one leaves this world untouched, though what that impact looks like may not be obvious to you if you haven’t gone in search of it.

Every life and death are part of a cycle. Every life and death are the wheels of nature turning. Every life and death have an impact – a positive impact – and matter.

If you expect it to be summer all year round then you will suffer. Well, you could of course live on a tropical island – that changes things. But it’s an analogy – so I’m sure you get what I mean. If you can only find beauty in the blooming of life (like spring and summer) but struggle with the exhale of life (autumn and winter) then you will constantly be fighting reality and nature. And you will miss, as I realise that I have for so many years when it comes to anything but summer, the true beauty found in all parts of the cycle of life.



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