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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.

From my study window a soggy breeze weights a solitary leaf falling from the towering oak in my side yard and hurtles it toward the spent grass. Interminable moments pass until it is lodged within a muddy crevice, its bronzed face weeping, unattended, susceptible to even more desiccation.

Such begins autumn’s necessary stripping with its obvious parallels to human life—The outworn must give way to the new.

However, last July this truth imploded within my body as I lay on my dining room floor, my foot caught within the tubing of my vacuum cleaner. Howling pain bit chunks into my left shoulder, elbow, and hip. Unlike the solitary leaf, I needed help and fast.

It came: paramedics, surgery, rehab, physical and occupational therapy. Indeed, hundreds of helpers knocked on my door, each with their piece of the puzzle that would eventually restore me to wholeness.

Slowly, my body-mind-spirit began to knit through the prescribed exercises, that is, until mid-August when gnarly pain emerged in my hip. Multiple modifications of the stretches only worsened matters and I was back on pain medications. My suspicions mounted: the surgery had failed. I’m waiting to learn what will happen next.

 

 

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