Autumn Gifts: Lessons of Death and Rebirth

©Jane A. Simington, PhD.

The gardens have lost their freshness and here and there along the path red and gold leaves show themselves, like the silver hairs that now appear among my blond ones. The autumnal changes that awaken the cyclic rhythm within my own life cause me to once again reflect on how the shadow of summer’s death turns me inward, tearing away the veil revealing all that is now a part of the past.

autumn leaves

My son died in autumn. He had been in the springtime of his life. I will never see his abilities in their summer or autumn seasons. Watching the gathering of the field grains reminds me of the many years of etching my sorrow into the prairie paths. Walking those same paths today I am able to acknowledge the lessons of death and rebirth revealed in the seasonal changes of nature. I have learned to gratefully appreciate the splendor of the autumn fields, the meadow, and the lake, for their numerous tales of the continuing process of life. Over the years their encouraging whispers of perennial rebirth have reminded me that life goes on despite visible signs of death.

While the awareness of autumnal decline holds a strange mystery which adds to the gravity of my moods, I believe that autumn offers opportunities for life review and reverie that only a backward glance can provide. The season allows us to take advantage of the gifts wedged between summer’s hectic beauty and winter’s harsh decline, and in so doing can make us more able to truly focus on and appreciate the richness of our personal harvest.

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2 Responses to Autumn Gifts: Lessons of Death and Rebirth

  1. Jody Lund says:

    My son died in September, now nearly 21 years ago just as he was about to become a teenager. This season is always painful for me.
    Thank you for the wonderful words, I honour my son by remembering his bright smile, infectious laugh and corny sense of humour. And rejoice that I can see some of that in my grandson.

    Time has marched on, life continues to renew itself.

    • Jane says:

      Hello Jody, I am glad my article contained some words that were meaningful for you. Your son’s corny sense of humor reminds me of Billy’s, and we too continue to see gifts of lightness and brightness in our grandsons. Many hugs, Jane

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