posted on November 17, 2009 02:10
It is 4 a.m., and I've been awake for a couple of hours. The irony of having a head cold is that while you are supposed to get plenty of rest, the symptoms often make sleep elusive. Upon awakening from a dream, my mind hummed into gear and--as Eckhart Tolle likes to say--I couldn't find the off switch.
I glance out the window from the second floor bathroom, and stare at the November sky, dark and quiet. The tall trees that line the exterior of our backyard have lost all of their leaves at this point, and they protrude into the air like lean, giant guardians of the night.
It is hard to believe that just a few months ago, these same trees were awash with dark green and lush in their thickness, and that just a few months before that they were newly blooming after having previously been reduced to the barren condition in which I find them today. These trees are reliable signposts of life's constant cycles: birth, growth, transition, death, birth...we see the cycles in careers, in relationships, in self-awareness, in spirituality...and I can think about each of the trees' cycles across the past 12 months and remember the significant things that occurred in each of them. My successes and failures, my progressions and regressions.
During this time of year I especially enjoy the long power walks and runs I take along the common area pathways that wind through our neighborhood. I take note of the other trees, the smaller ones that still have leaves which have transformed into bright gold or red. Countless clusters of these colorful decorations from nature have fallen across the paths and the adjacent grass, and when I step on them or walk through a pile and hear the "crunch" there is something happening inside of me that feels vibrant and youthful.
My favorite portion is a section of path that snakes through the woods, far from any vehicles. Here, I literally feel as if I am walking through change.
And, mysteriously, change walks through me every day as well, nudging me toward gentle transformation of inner hue as well as character. I hope today that I pay attention to it and respond accordingly, irritating cold symptoms or not.