Sometimes I find myself walking through the shadows. Such it has been for me lately. Autumn is a bittersweet time–such exquisite beauty in the brightly colored leaves–so warmly orange and sunflower yellow and bright vibrant red. What a happy time when the afternoon sun filters through the leaves, and a little October breeze flutters the leaves and sets them dancing. What a treasure when the sky is true blue, almost cobalt with a hint of grey, without a single cloud marring its vastness. And what a contrast to the bright golds and burnt oranges and rusty reds edging the horizon below. But how fleeting is this time. I remember counting the days until November one particular year when the whispers of “Hospice” constantly spoke to me. November 3rd. Three months.
This particular October has so much to be cherished. Grandchildren just beginning their lives– three of them whose lives whisper the promise of futures filled with caring and kindness and generosity and love. Hope.
I don’t want the autumn to end. I love the warm and earthy November browns that cling to the oak trees, the crunchy butternuts beneath our feet, the sad echo of the Canadian geese, hopefully flying in pairs still…l as they look for a quiet pond on which to rest this night. But sometimes there is a lone bird.
I let the dog out, our husky Golden. Shedding his summer fur and putting on a new coat to combat the chilly nights, he looks scruffy prancing across the deck, eyes turned to the little meadow above and darkening woods beyond. He sniffs, knowing what animals must be beginning their nocturnal travels. I see the evening shadows, the earth settling down for the night ahead. Colors have faded, the sky grayer and striped with clouds, a hint of misty moon appearing in the distance.
I am alone tonight as I am every Wednesday. It’s quiet in here in this room overlooking the eastern sky, the lamp beside me casting a warm golden glow upon my hands. Sometimes, like tonight, but not very often, tears sting my eyes. But more than that, the feeling inside envelops my heart.
Tomorrow will be a new day, brighter perhaps, and the chilly darkness will have fallen away. But tonight I feel the bittersweet autumn evening upon me…and allow my mind to wander quietly through the shadows, comforted by them.