A bright golden leaf framed by a clear sky floated lightly to earth. My mind was transfixed on the leaf that marked the advent of autumn and the cycles of seasons within life. Deepak Chopra once remarked that he was now in the autumn of his life. What a wonderful way to remind us that life has its seasons just as we see in nature. The beginning of life and the birth of spring, the activity peaks of life’s summers and the closing of a cycle in autumn are all a prelude to the return to the dormancy & gestation period of winter.
Even though fall is a favorite time for many people, as its cold crisp air pierces the ripple of late summer winds, I wonder if it is possible to make these transitions from the early years to the later years in life without mourning the passing of time. Is it possible I wonder, to make the transitions from one era of life to another without clinging to what was? Is it possible to let go if we can’t perceive what is yet to be? Or is it possible to live in a suspended state of fearless expectancy of what is yet to reveal itself?
As the golden leaf lingers in the crisp morning air, my thoughts travel to those in our world community ravaged by storms or wars who are forced into life’s changes with little warning. My heart holds all people, all beings everywhere, transcending current or past pain into the transformative unfolding of the future. The leaf that was once the bud of spring now is a beautiful withered reminder of its lovely past.
Our life patterns and the seasons are not as separate as they seem. In our lifetime we witness and experience many changes, individually and collectively. The hills and the valleys of life’s journey are patterns we all share.
Yoga helps us gain flexibility in body that mirrors the agility in mind that helps us bend with the winds and bow to the storms. It helps us make these transitions through the seasons of our lives, with joyful expectancy of faith in the Divine and loving hand that is guiding us from one place to another in the fulfillment of our life’s destiny.
I find the Thanksgiving holiday is a reminder that is far greater than gatherings of friends and family, much more than the ritual of sharing a meal based on an age-old tradition. It is a time to truly give thanks from our hearts for all that has graced our lives.
What a great opportunity this coming holiday is for forgiving the past, renewing compassion and releasing hardened places in our heart that have become numb to the storms that have ravaged us. One great bhakti (devotional) teacher who was a living saint from India once said to me, “Be thankful for judgments and criticism….through them, you will have greater compassion for others.”
Thanksgiving is not just once a year, but it is an attitude of gratefulness that we can practice every day of the year. As we transcend our own tears, we can see and feel the tears of others. We can, during this coming holiday and every day send our love and healing to all those whose lives have radically changed and all those who have experienced losses in our country and all countries of the world. The healing power of giving thanks silently can radiate out from Self, to community and our world.