Making Room for Growth

Autumn snuck up on me this year. Despite it being my favorite season, it arrived and I found myself quite unprepared. This summer was a strange one in the PNW, and I felt as if I was so busy racing from one thing to the next that I hardly noticed nature’s subtle cues that fall was coming. 

Somehow the leaves began to change, already a little crispy around the edges from the record-breaking heat waves of the summer, and have found themselves letting go of their branches to flutter down into my driveway. Somehow the grass started growing a little slower, requiring me to fire up the lawn mower just a little less often. Somehow the sun started going down a little earlier, casting it’s golden shadows over my cozy porch at dinner time rather than at bedtime. Somehow I found myself grabbing a sweater to wear in the mornings while I sip coffee on the patio while the dogs play. Somehow the birds are gathering and traveling south to warmer places, and little splashes of snow are arriving on the mountains that surround my little town. All of a sudden, it’s the end of September and I somehow feel rushed to enjoy this, my favorite time of year.

Coming off of the fast pace of the summer has made me feel like I need to just dive right into all the fall activities so that I don’t miss out. I’ve been churning out baked goods like I’m Franz Bakery, with about 7 fall candles lit in my home at once so that I don’t miss the chance to enjoy their fragrance. I’ve been going through about 3 outfit changes per day so that I get the chance to wear all my favorite sweaters before it’s so cold that I have to throw a winter coat over them. I’m rushing to set aside a day for my fall planting before it’s too late. But…maybe I’m missing the point of this season.

Autumn arrives when she feels like it’s time. Autumn lets summer fade out before truly announcing herself, as if she’s afraid to step on the toes of those last few sunbaked days. Autumn gently stirs the sleeping home-makers in all of us, as if we received a group subliminal message to pull on our sweaters, bake some pumpkin bread and swap out the hand towels for the ones with leaves on them. Autumn ripens the apple trees, weighs down the blackberry vines with sweet berries, and urges the fields of wheat to transform into amber waves of grain. Autumn crisps the morning air, kisses our cheeks with cooler temperatures and enchants us with dreamy golden-glow evenings. Autumn quietly whispers to the leaves that it’s time to let go.

This season, Autumn is teaching me that I have been carrying too much. I’ve been hurrying to complete the “to-do” list, racing through each day always geared towards preparing for the next. Autumn is showing me that I can slow down, that I can set down the heavy load I’ve been carrying, and take the time to let go of the things that are no longer serving me. Just like the trees, I too can shed a layer and no longer expend energy on keeping dead things alive. This is my season for making room to grow. 

This fall is serving as my reminder to learn from this busy year of living, to harvest the fruits of my labors, and slow down to savor the hard work I’ve done. This is a time of transformation, and Autumn is showing me how best to do this, that growth and progress cannot be rushed. 

I’m clearing out the clutter, removing the things in my home, life, and thoughts that no longer are serving me. It’s painful to let go sometimes, but the end result is clarity, peace and a simpler, fuller life. Sometimes change is the only way forward.

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