Sometimes computers provide lessons in letting go. I wrote this post last week but it mysteriously disappeared. Frustration. Breathe. Oh well. Here it goes again.

As we began to move from the Summer Solstice to the Winter Solstice, the light of each day diminished incrementally. At the same time, the days became warmer and the fruits, flowers, and vegetables grew into fullness. The hours of daylight decrease while the heat and growth increase. The Earth simultaneously contracts and expands.

I’ve always been fascinated by the intersection of opposites, the meeting point between black and white, the line that connects yin and yang. Perhaps it partially explains my fascination with transitions as they’re one of the most poignant areas of life where grief and joy collide, where loss and celebration share the stage, where letting go and welcoming in greet each other in the same minute of a day. There’s something wholly alive to me about these breaking and renewal points where we’re rendered vulnerable and the opportunity for transformation reveals itself.

The changing of the seasons is one of those times. I don’t know about the rest of the country, but here in Colorado Autumn is beginning to breathe her cool breath into our mornings and evenings, sending intimations of what’s to come. The days are still ablaze with heat and my boys are still enjoying the pools and outdoor freedom of summertime, but we’re all sensing Autumn’s presence. There’s a tinge of melancholy in the air as kids go back to school and Summer prepares for her departure to the crickets’ sad song that signals Her end.

Summer and Autumn meet, and in their meeting we’re stripped, if only for a moment or day, of our normal defenses and invited into that raw realm where true feelings and wisdom live. We can run from it by staying busy, as our culture encourages us to do. Or we can pause, gaze out the kitchen window, and welcome in the first wisps of memory and reflection that characterize the contraction of Autumn.

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