Thursday, September 4, 2008

Turning Over An Old Leaf

There is something about the movement of things in the fall. Perhaps it is the falling of leaves to the earth that reminds us of our own eventual return to the earth. Perhaps it is the changing colors of the foliage that reminds us of our own changes.

If we were to equate the seasons of the year with stages of life spring would birth, summer would be youth, fall would be adulthood and winter would be elderhood.

As we adjust to the cooling temperatures, our senses are calmed, and we think of what has been harvested this year already and the work ahead. For those of us who are not farmers, it is metaphorical. We all have things that we are glad we have received and things we want to have grow in our lives.

Interestingly, fall (the adult season) is the season when Hollywood always releases their serious movies, their Oscar contenders. Summer (youth season) is when they typically release comedies, action and comic book movies.

Symphonies and theatres typically launch their new seasons in fall as well. As the schools resume, students are diving into their majors and preparing for careers. People may just be settling into new homes that they moved into recently in order to enroll their children in the new school districts. People who are looking to change careers may pay more serious attention to looking around for that now that the more relaxed pace of summer is over.

All of this activity develops from this same theme, that is our evolution into the next stage of our life. The turning colors of the foliage suggest to us that we are marking seasons of life and that we need to reflect on what we have done and what we would like to do. We are regrouping after having spent time vacationing, grilling, hiking or feeling lethargic because of the heat.

As we survey our personal landscape, this may be the time of the year when we clean out our personal space once again, let go of some things and adjust our plans as we prepare to move into our next phase of life. The fact that this time of year is rich with big social events makes it perfect for connecting with people who can help us make our transitions as well as connecting with old and new friends.

Time for turning over a new leaf? Time to gather up the old leaves to mulch and keep our roots protected through winter? Time to enjoy the colors and crispness of the air and the apples? Time to turn over some colorful leaves just to savor a good look at the color and shape of them?

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