A few days ago at home, I found myself driving on the freeway, with leaves rushing in the wind towards my car. It became a constant barrage of leaves of all shades landing for an instant on my windshield before being deflected back into the wind. I realized I was behind a landscaping truck.
But more importantly, I realized the symbolism of these leaves was so apropos to my life. I was about to face a great challenge by returning home after a year of absence filled with physical, mental and emotional challenges that led to familial strife in an otherwise tight-knit family.
Children are returning to school, and I am reminded of my own emotions facing the Autumn school beginning. The feelings of change, and renewal, as well as the daunting feeling of the unknown events of the year to come. I remember the air gaining a chill, and a crispness that felt clean, and to me, like the promise of a fresh start. I found it exhilarating, but hard to let go of my favorite time of year, Summer. I have always had trouble accepting change.
This is an Autumn of my life.
When I arrived home, the leaves were even beginning to change. I could see their green fading into bronze on the trees, as we whooshed down the highway from the airport to my old home. Everything around me seemed so foreign, yet familiar. It is such a strange feeling to be somewhere which was always such a constant, and yet to take in so much change. But it isn’t just the outward change that is jarring, but the inward change of my family members, and of myself. I am also staggered by the lack of change, mostly for the negative.
This is a journey in itself. Yes, I am traveling, but the outward travel is far less important than the inward travel. For the first time, I feel like an adult returning home. I miss so much of the past, but it is gone. Now I have to decide what is left here in my hometown, with my family, and is worth fighting for.
It is all so surreal, but I am somehow taking it in stride, the way each individual leaf on a tree grows, flourishes with the sun and the rain, and then so beautifully accepts the change of the season, until it is cast to the wind, to start a new adventure. One. Moment. At. A. Time.
August. East Coast, USA. 2014.