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Ahead of us, it was just starting: October’s pizzazz like the carnival barker, with top hat and swinging a gold cane.

The asphalt path, still moist from yesterday’s rains and imprinted by a pastiche of saffron and rusts, was its first welcome. More came in quick succession: mimosas and maples still clinging to their dried and torn leaves, resembling half-opened parasols; sun-warmed winds teasing tendrils of vines curlicued around plank fences; islands of leafy shade inviting the next footfall; and within a large evergreen, twittering sparrows sounding like jokesters filled with stories.

Another season, outstanding for its brilliance-to-faded beauty is upon us. Even its eventual stripping has its own message, for senses attuned to it. Within each revelation comes wisdom, trust in the Changer, and ultimate meaning.

All the more to intentionally focus upon each day’s pizzazz and listen for the joy. It’s there.

In memory, I return to the first morning of my arrival at East Gloucester, Massachusetts, stretch into the bleached lawn chair next to the ocean, and open my citified world to nature’s expansive healing. Desperate is my need for watering.

October’s brilliance caps hesitant waves with opulence that lap against the base of the monolithic Brace Rock; it resembles a dusky pachyderm snoozing in the morning heat, its humps whitened by decades of excrement. Against luminous skies, crowds of herring gulls honk into fly-space, while others pump their wings, catch columns of wind, gliding in somersaults and pinwheels. Like cobra helicopters, twin ravens pan the boulder-strewn shore until they vanish.

I breathe deeply in my chair, then notice surf-bubbles skittering among handfuls of sandpipers, toeing the grainy sand like princesses. Upon stringy brackish seaweed, mosquitoes crowd like irritable shoppers in check-out lines.

Nearby, splashy quilts of wild grasses, golden rod, and sumac enliven miles of bronzed granite rocks along the coast. A solitary honeybee suns upon the breast of a goldenrod spear. A rare Monarch butterfly collapses its circus wings and alights on the fringed tip of purple loose strife.

A cobalt sky smiles upon this riotous foreplay. Time hangs suspended upon boney and gossamer wings. Within this jeweled kaleidoscope, an unseen power reveals her Soul and invites surrender.

Again, it has been done. I’m washed, clean.

For nearly two years, I have been blogging the experience of my terminal illness, Interstitial Lung Disease with Rheumatoid Arthritis, its symptoms creeping along like an inchworm in high grass, on holiday, with no incentive to hurry. Weeks have morphed into months; months, into years. Slowly, I learned that the disease would have its way with me. I could only witness its symptoms as they occurred.

This being the case, I resorted to head-writing my blogs despite practicing acceptance and surrender and following my daily self-care routine. But my unconscious need to control the uncontrollable, the death of my body, held full sway. My heart was elsewhere.

But last night’s prayer or dream seems to have changed things. My whole body warmed as I heard myself say from the heart, “To You, I return my body. I’m so grateful.” My whole being stirred. I felt free in a new way, and still do—at least today. Gone is the residual anger that had clung to my psyche like sticky spider webs. In no way could I remove them. Another has.

This new shift in attitude is critical for the remainder of my life. Whatever new symptoms there will be, and they’ll probably be many, my choice for fuller Life has been made. In the meantime, I have the next twenty-four hours to look after, with my heart seeking guidance.

My gratitude knows no bounds.

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