Autumn Lessons of Grief and Gratitude

gratitude grief Sep 09, 2019

Autumn Lessons of Grief and Gratitude

©Jane A. Simington, PhD.

September is for me, a bittersweet month. The autumn winds, blowing fragrances of ripe pumpkins and harvested grains, creating a whimsical dance among the fallen red and gold leaves delight and enchant. The abundance of the season humbles and fills me with awe and gratitude; yet amidst this splendor is an ever-growing awareness that the glory and light of summer is quickly passing and the gloom of winter is soon to arrive. These autumnal changes in nature and my reflection on the shadow of summer’s decline and the approaching darkness turns me inward, there to ponder anew the perennial cycles of death and rebirth.

My son died in September. He had been in the springtime of life. I will never know what his summer or autumn seasons would bring. Watching the gathering of the field grains this morning reminded me of the many “wailing-walks” I had taken across those same prairie fields. Retracing the footsteps stirred a deep acknowledgement of the lessons I have learned and the gifts I have received as a result of experiencing those dark days and nights of grief.

While the autumnal decline holds a strange mystery that prompts an annual life review, in so doing it offers a reverie that only a backward glance can provide, allowing a recognition of the goodness that is wedged between summer’s beauty and winter’s harsh decline. The seasonal changes embrace an opportunity to relive and cherish the aspects of life we feel satisfied with and offer a soulful urging to alter any circumstances that require attention to ensure continued growth into the next seasons.

As you gather the last of this summer’s harvest, may the metaphorical enchantment of the season stir a soulful reflection on your personal harvest and stimulate swift action toward your next great movement forward. 

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