Thursday, September 23, 2010

Start of the Fall

"I went to sleep, 'twas summer
Awoke, to find it fall."
JCK, 9.23.10

In the fall of my senior year of high school, my best friend and my boyfriend hooked up. I was devastated, not because I'd lost my boyfriend (he was SO not the one!), but because my very best friend in the whole world betrayed me. (Yes, history sometimes repeats itself.) I wrote a song at the tender age of 16 called, "The Start of the Fall." It was sad and filled with proper teenage angst. I liked the fact that "fall" meant both autumn, and an emotional fall:

The leaves were falling all around
My head was tripping on the ground
I closed my eyes, but no one saw

Just how I felt at the start of the fall


The leaves were falling on the ground
My world was spinning 'round and 'round
I closed my eyes, I called and called

But n
o one heard at the start of the fall

That was then, and this is now. This fall is not sad. It is happy and beautiful, joyous and free.

I took these pics in my backyard yesterday afternoon. The first hints of bright reds and playful yellows are peaking through, hinting at a world of unimagined possibilities. Fall is like spring; a time of new beginnings - a time to contemplate, create, rejuvenate, and discover.

What's happy, beautiful, joyous, and free about this fall, besides the brilliant colors and inevitable/unfathomable phases of nature, you ask? Well, I'm nearly halfway through my edits on Draft #6 (Did I mention I've got an Awesome Agent? No? Huh. Wonder how I missed that...), I bought a new bicycle (teal blue Trek!) for the first time since I was 13 (it's true what they say about never forgetting how to ride, thank goodness - I'll post pics soon), I'm enjoying lots of inspiring newly-released music (Arcade Fire, Robert Plant, Mumford and Sons), I'm getting back into my own music as well, and - most importantly - my life is filled with the most amazing family, friends, and feline captors who are all happy and healthy. My blessings can not be counted in only one lifetime.

I'm approaching this fall differently than I have in many years - with a renewed love of my precious life and a vengeance for making my dreams come true. I'm learning that when you experience a great loss, on the other side of that deep, paralyzing sadness is a heightened appreciation for everything in life.

Like Ingrid Betancourt - a French-Columbian politician who was kidnapped and held captive for over six years in the jungles of Columbia - said on Oprah*, "It's not until you realize how fragile you are, that you understand your strengths."

In honor of the human spirit and our miraculous ability to persevere, I intend to keep gratitude, joy, and humility in the forefront every day. I will build a mental temple to worship these ideals. Sometimes I'll fail, but this will remain my daily goal.

Fall can be bleak, depressing, and draining, or it can be bright, uplifting, and filled with passionate energy. As with most things in life, it's a choice. (Pain is inevitable, suffering optional.)

What does autumn represent to you, and what are some of your goals as you head into this precious new season?

*I tried my best to remember, but these may not be her exact words. The sentiment, however, is clear.

36 comments:

Laura Eno said...

Yep, and when you fall, you have nowhere to go but up. Enjoy the climb and keep your eyes on the sky.

Julie said...

Beautiful post!!!

I love fall and always feel more contemplative and soulful, perhaps because of the change of pace that comes with the change of seasons.

Love ya!

Debra L. Schubert said...

Laura, So true! Love your words.

Debra L. Schubert said...

Julie, Thank you my dear, dear friend. I love you, too. ;-)

Damyanti said...

Lovely post. fall is a time of rumination for me...and I miss it now because Malaysia does not have fall and winter, only rain and summer!

Karen Walker said...

Fall has always been my favorite time of the year. I miss the colors back East. Here in Albuquerque, it's still very much Summer. It's also the Jewish New Year, the start of the school year. It's all about new beginnings. May your new beginning bring you much joy, Debra. I'm wishing to get back to my writing.
Karen

Laura Marcella said...

Lovely post, Debra! Orange and yellow are my favorite colors, and I also love bright red, so autumn is definitely a time of happiness for me. I can't help but smile when I see the trees and earth flaming with color. And when the trees are naked, I know they'll be a lively green again because spring ALWAYS returns. :)

So glad to hear about your positive outlook!

Tere Kirkland said...

For me, autumn means cooler temperatures and cooler heads (I hope). For everyone else around me, it means football. ;)

Thanks for sharing such an uplifting post!

~Tere

Stephanie Faris said...

Fall has always been my favorite time of the year, so I've always hated it when something bad happened in the fall and I couldn't enjoy it. So sorry about that betrayal all those years ago. Yes, often it's the loss of the friendship you mourn more than the loss of the relationship!

Debra L. Schubert said...

Damyanti, Only rain and summer - ouch! That would be tough. I guess you have to change seasons in your mind. (Don't we all!)

Debra L. Schubert said...

Karen, I was thinking about the Jewish New Year as I wrote this post. I like that it happens in the fall - such a perfect time for reflection and renewal. *hugs*

Debra L. Schubert said...

Laura, "I can't help but smile when I see the trees and earth flaming with color." I love that!

And, also: "...when the trees are naked, I know they'll be a lively green again because spring ALWAYS returns."

What a great metaphor for going through the darkness to find the light in life.

Debra L. Schubert said...

Tere, Oh, and I love football!!! (So glad you enjoyed the post.)

Debra L. Schubert said...

Steph, Yup, you never expect your best friends to betray you. So glad to see your beautiful face here today!

BookGeek said...

For me, the start of fall is...birthday month! Haha. But really, I love fall because of the crisp days, the morning runs (hopefully starting soon) and the hot cocoa with a side of writing at night. There is something about the playful breezes and lingering summer that inspires me.

Robin said...

Fall is my favorite season. It is the clearing away. The wiping of the slate. It is the chance to start over. It is the season that makes way for all of the others. It creates the vacuum that allows for spring. We would never get a spring if it weren't for fall. We would always be stuck with things exactly as they were. Fall allows the old to literally fall away. Winter gives you time to think about what you are going to do. Spring is when you get to fill all of that open space with your new ideas and creations. Summer is when you get to enjoy them. It's a beautiful circle.

Kelly H-Y said...

Just wrote about Autumn on Tuesday ... it is my very favorite season!!! Lovely post!

Fragrant Liar said...

Yes, I love the fall! Such a point of renewal.

Thanks for the reminder that pain is inevitable; suffering is optional. Good one for me this week!

Kimberly Franklin said...

I love fall. Always have. So, it's always been a happy season for me. It's so cozy and full of warmth. I'm ready for those fall temps to hit Texas!

I'm glad you've already made up your mind that it's going to be a great season for you. And since you've done that it's sure to be the best yet! :)

Debra L. Schubert said...

BookGeek, Happy fall birthday to you! Hot cocoa (w/a shot of peppermint schnapps!) is one of the things I look forward to most in the fall.

Debra L. Schubert said...

Robin, I love how you explain the seasons. You're so right - it's a beautiful cycle indeed.

Debra L. Schubert said...

Kelly, I will check out your autumn post!

Debra L. Schubert said...

FL, So glad I wrote something that rang true for you. That quote is on my mind a lot these days. ;-)

Debra L. Schubert said...

Kim, Thank you so much for all your support. (And, I don't just mean the CHOCOLATE!)

gael lynch said...

Debra, glad to see you're 'springing back' this fall! Life is amazing...it gives us dying leaves, and turns them into these dazzling displays that captures our fullest our hearts and our imaginations too! You're a fighter, girl...so glad you're getting back into your writing again! ;)

Debra L. Schubert said...

gael, Thanks, my friend. I intend to give this life my best shot, and I've got a LONG way to go! ;-)

Kasie West said...

I love your angsty teenage song. I'd say you had every reason to write one, with the betrayal and all. I'm with you, though, I love fall. And gratitude is such a great attitude to have. :)

Sharla said...

Weirdly enough, both Fall and Spring represent "new" to me. I love the newness of the cool weather, the crispness, the cold. Love love love it.

I wish you much love and hugs through both your "falls"!

Sybir St. John said...

Beautiful post as always :) I love the color changing aspects. Mother Nature never ceases to amaze me with what colors she can bring out.

Debra L. Schubert said...

Kasie, Love seeing you're smiling face over here! Being a teenager is all about the angst. It's much more fun writing about it than living it. ;-)

Debra L. Schubert said...

Sharla, It's not weird at all to think of both spring and fall as seasons of new beginnings. Everything is changing. The colors are vivid, bright, and fresh. If winter only lasted for about two weeks, the seasons would be perfect. ;-))

Debra L. Schubert said...

Stacia, Mother Nature is the biggest rock star of all. ;-))

Debbie said...

I do love what that woman said! How amazing. And I am sure true.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

What an inspiring post! Fall has always felt a little sad to me. It's a beautiful time of year, but it signals change to me, something I'm not always comfortable with. And since my oldest started school, it's also the beginning of letting the kiddos go. Makes me sad. But I'm loving your attitude. It's catching.

Debra L. Schubert said...

Debbie, How are things? It's always good to see you "here." ;-))

Debra L. Schubert said...

Carolina, A positive attitude should be catching!

Letting go of our little ones is one of the most difficult/rewarding things in life. And, trust me, it happens over and over again...

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