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I have so much “stuff” swirling around in my head right now that I am finding it hard to write anything, which is part of the reason there was no blog at all yesterday and the one before that was just a one of my favorite quotes. I’m blocked. There is too much noise in my head. I’m distracted and my concentration is shot.

This is a nostalgic time of year for me. It always has been. There is something about the leaves changing color and the cooler air. There is something about pumpkins and apple cider that brings back childhood memories. When I was young, quite young, we used to go get pumpkins in the fall and paint them with our father. It’s one of the few really good memories I have of him. Unfortunately for him, he has not been much of a part of our lives.

Then ten years ago in October, my mother did a terrible thing. She died. She died suddenly and unexpectedly while teaching a yoga class. A brain aneurysm. Ten years may seem like a long time but there are times it feels like it happened yesterday. And, for some reason, the ten year anniversary of her death feels significant. Ten years seems, somehow, to mark a real and lasting passage of time. Time without her. I don’t like it. Everyone says that their mother is the best but mine really was. It wasn’t so much because she was the best mother. It was because she was the best person that I knew.

So, this time of year brings up a lot of memories, some of which I savor and relish and feel such gratitude to have, and others, I dread. With these memories comes a lot of emotion. I feel nostalgic and misty eyed as I wistfully long for happy times again with these two people. I feel incredible gratitude for my mother because were it not for her, I would not be who I am today. I feel a strange homesickness for my family who are scattered about now, all living very busy and independent lives. I feel sentimental for days gone by.

I think the way the leaves change from a vibrant lively green to a stunning red and orange to a dark brown withered pile on the ground, every autumn sums up how I feel this time of year. I am a frenzy of emotion until it all subsides and I crumble. I give in to it. I grieve. Every autumn I grieve. It’s like I am shedding the skin of all that made me sad through the year in order to ready myself for whatever else may be ahead of me…the good and the bad.

Autumn for me is a time of review, of reflection, of contemplation. It’s a time to shed unwanted sorrows and regret. It’s a time to mourn my losses. It’s a time to give thanks for where I have been and what that has taught me. It’s a time of transition. It’s a time of grace and gratitude.

It is a time of renewal.

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