Most of the trees in our neighborhood are bare now, and the colorful season of autumn has ended. The leaves on the ground are rapidly losing their color and beginning to disintegrate. And gray skies seem to be more common than blue sunny skies.
I’ve reluctantly exchanged my colorful cool summer wardrobe for my darker warmer winter clothes. My summer garden containers have been stowed under the deck and the deck furniture put into storage.
Yesterday morning there were thin pieces of ice floating on the pond behind our house. Today when I woke up the top of the pond had become a solid sheet of ice. This afternoon snowflakes came down and covered the ice with patches of white until the warmer air temperature managed to melt the snow.
The signs of winter’s arrival make me feel sad. Too soon, I lament.
This time of year is a bittersweet time for me. The end of the warm growing season and beginning of the long cold winter fills me with sadness.
I want the warm days to last a little bit longer and I want to push away the cold weather into some uncertain future time. Winter is inevitable. I cannot control the weather or make it be different than it is. The trees and nature that I love so well in Minnesota would not be as they are, if not for the climate of this place.
Still, I long for fall to last a little longer and for winter to arrive a little later. And whenever winter finally arrives I’m always sad.
Isn’t that the way many of us are in many aspects of our lives?
We cling to or long for the times, experiences, or emotions that we like and we push away the things, emotions, and experiences that we dislike.
What if we could relax into, allow, and accept all our experiences, good or bad? What would it feel like? How would it change our lives?
I’ve noticed in myself that when I dislike something and try to push it away or not experience it that my body feels much more contracted and constricted. It’s as if I’m wearing armor to protect myself from feeling the unpleasant experience. When that unpleasant experience is pain, I often experience more pain because I’ve tensed and contracted my body. The irony is that when I let go of trying to control or push away pain or discomfort, peace rushes in and often the pain shifts or releases.
“The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it. It’s our fear of the dark that casts our joy into the shadows.”
― Brené Brown,
All is well
When I work to become more present and accept what is a kind of sweet self-acceptance and compassion allows me to freely experience all of my feelings and experiences. I am able to relax my body and sink into a realization that in this moment all is well.
“All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”
― Julian of Norwich
I can notice the weather outside, feel my sadness and desire for a different kind of weather and accept and allow myself to experience it all moment by moment.
Allowing myself to feel, accept, and experience the bitter frees me to fully experience the sweet.
Life is bittersweet and all is well.
May you walk in beauty.