By Deborah Dickerson
At this time of year, it’s difficult for me not to be aware of the transition from summer into fall. The daylight is getting noticeably shorter, and there’s a chill in the air. It is particularly noticeable here in northern Idaho, (and, of course, across most of Canada) where we lose almost 30 minutes of daylight a week around the fall equinox. As we move between seasons, it seems a good time to take stock of the summer, and look towards the fall for what’s next.
What have you accomplished this summer? Is there something that you wanted to happen and it didn’t? Or maybe something completely unexpected has happened that hasn’t been fully integrated into your life yet.
The biggest impact for my life this summer was the passing of my father in early August. My father had not been well for quite some time, but his death was unexpected. What was shocking to me was the swiftness with which I was able to move through the grieving process – the intense grief was complete in a day. I can see that when one is complete with a person or situation, feelings move through quickly and suffering is minimized. This happened through the support of a strong community that allowed me to express all my grief, which meant that it didn’t have to stick around. For me, it was a miracle.
Of course, there is and was sadness at times, but I do not experience the waves of grief that I had grown accustomed to from previous experiences with the death of someone close. It’s a more subtle transition, like the seasons. In late September, I attended a memorial service for my dad. He had requested that his ashes be spread on San Francisco Bay. It was a magical day with family on a boat just underneath the Golden Gate Bridge, where we all honored him and his life. Healing happened. Again, expressing our feelings, our love, moved us further through this natural transition.
As I allow feelings and thoughts (and weather) to change, I turn my attention to the next season and embrace each one.They all have gifts if we just open ourselves to them while acknowledging and completing what has occurred in the previous season. What gifts have you received this summer and what are you looking forward to this fall? May your fall be filled with blessings and miracles.