My early walk began with a love song between two birds. I guess you could call them love birds as it was clearly a mating call. On this cool autumn morning in Texas, which lately seems like an oxymoron, I heard the love song somewhere nearby in the trees. The small creek on my walking path had disappeared into a bed of lovely water plants blooming with tiny yellow flowers. Beneath the dense, green blanket of intertwined vines and flowers I could also hear the soft flowing waters of the stream.
With the brutal heat of this past summer I was grateful to have this morning to walk outdoors. I soaked in the sights and sounds of the transitioning season. I felt as if nature were following suit with my own personal transitions. Four months ago I would have been running this pathway looking at my Apple watch and trying to hit some type of personal goal in time and steps. Today, however, I preferred instead to walk at a fairly brisk pace but to linger long enough to absorb the beauty around me.
It was nature’s way of slowing me down this morning by calling to me through a love song between God’s gentle creatures. The birds and flowers were all about their own business of being a beautiful part of our world. For the past few years I had been missing it. Even during my summer breaks, I’d been checking off admiring beauty as part of some daily to do list. But not this morning. I breathed in the cool autumn morning air and felt an extraordinary sense of gratitude. The season was changing.
I wondered how long it would take to see all the trees in their golden autumn glory. I spotted one already beginning to surrender to the season to come. It stood lonely among the other stubborn green ones and I felt a strange kinship to this amber tinged lone warrior. It was almost as if this tree was signaling to the others saying, “Hey, our new season is here. Let’s get about it.” I admired its readiness to venture first.
I thought about how brave I have been these past few months to change careers and I often don’t view myself as brave but this morning I did. I’ve been willing to say numerous times in these past four months with a lump in my throat, “I’m not sure what’s next.” I’ll say that takes courage. I’ve been brave enough to put myself out there to complete strangers online and solicit advice. I’d also say that’s pretty courageous. And most importantly I’ve stared audaciously in the face of uncertainty while the rejection emails beat against my self esteem. That might have been the bravest of all!
I discerned this morning that welcoming new seasons can often look a bit lonely and you may noticeably stand out as you embrace the changes. You might seem ahead or behind everyone else and feel a bit foolish in the transition. To risk looking foolish is something we all tend to avoid and it takes courage to plunge ahead. But to stay stagnated and never fully explore what might be is costly. Tears mixed with gratitude and longing flowed down my cheeks this morning as I meandered back home to write, dream, plan, and hope. Despite the small evidences of the season changing, I prayed a small prayer in my heart that I too would soon be in full bloom of my own autumn clothes-just like my tree comrade. I established and accepted one undeniable truth to myself today on my short journey. I am brave.