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I have been grieving. 

This season has found me going inward, craving quiet, and restlessly seeking to pry open my tightly-fisted hands. During the last six weeks or so, I’ve been blindsided by the iron grip of past griefs I thought had long loosened. I’ve also been watching fearfully as the shiny, alluring dreams I had become attached to for my future began to fade in the sky.

I know that there will be more blessings ahead and in some ways, less pain. Nevertheless, it has been overwhelming to feel and face so much in such a short period of time.

I have been fighting and fleeing the inevitability of endings.

I am once again humbled and awe-filled by the way in which God uses every interaction + action in my life to whisper love calls to my heart. Infinite wisdom and gentle leading, always + everywhere.

This morning, my doctor greeting me with a kind smile, reminding me to look for the emotional and spiritual lessons in the physical symptoms I’m experiencing. Encouraging me to burrow in to offer myself the care I crave, but not to completely disappear under the blankets. Acknowledging what I have already done to care for myself and to stretch my wisdom through this season. Assuring me that the next phase of my life, whether one of ease or challenge, will be greeted with even greater acceptance and clarity.

This afternoon, two wise women friend-colleagues challenging me to consider new definitions and new boundaries–responsiveness versus responsibility + expectancy versus expectations. Offering me the opportunity to go scot-free; to simply let go of self-judgement along my path to transformation. To accept the gift of ease that I have never trusted, nor considered myself worthy to receive. The fear at its foundation: What might happen if I am not vigilant? If I don’t hold tight to the ledge, who will be there to catch me when I fall?

And this evening, a posting to Facebook via Parker Palmer, citing a Rilke poem:

Autumn poem by Rainer Marie Rilke

I love Fall. The season always creates a powerful mix of feelings in me—aliveness in the crisp cool air, awe and wonder at nature’s beauty, melancholy as another season of flowering life ends, and so quickly!

I also love this Rilke poem about falling, loneliness, tenderness, and being held. Rilke was alienated from traditional, organized religion. But he clearly had a sense that the cosmos somehow cares for and catches us, even as it makes falling a natural part of life. 

This translation of “Autumn” is by Joanna Macy and Anita Barrows, from their book, “A Year with Rilke.” In another book they did together, “Rilke’s Book of Hours,” they say, “Of all the seasons, Rilke most loved autumn. He found it released his creative powers.”  – Parker J. Palmer

Do you see, as I do, the river of connectedness that streams through my life + yours, inviting us to deeper kinship with ourselves, with each other and with the Infinite?

Look at the falling leaves and open your heart and your hands. Falling indeed surrounds us on all sides; yet around the corner comes another unpredictable, beauty-from-ashes beginning. We know that this is true. It is the way it has always been.

For now, the profound ease of endings is calling to you and to me.

with love, Rachel