Close up of maple leaves turning bright red and orange

Watching the leaves fall and be swept away by the wind earlier, I felt sad.  Summer, already officially over, really is gone.  I can no longer deny that fact as I notice the hint of crisp coolness in the mornings and evenings now.  Fall is a beautiful season and holds its own wonder, but to me is bittersweet, as it leads to winter.  I have never liked the cold and usually enjoy the rare snowfall from the inside with a cup of hot chocolate!  This fall is also the last one with a son at home to see off to school each morning.  I cannot even imagine what that will be like as there have been children at home for the last thirty years!  I am nearing the end of this season of life.

Endings tend to cause us to reflect and take stock of  where we are in life- our goals, regrets, gratitudes- and may increase our understanding of ourselves.  A relationship may end, children grow up, career paths change, our health may fail.  It is understandable to experience sadness at times such as these.  I am encouraged, though, because I know that feelings also change.  The twinge of sadness I felt watching the leaves fall will not last forever.  Next year, while holding some sadness as my last son goes to college, also holds possibilities.  As humans, we experience the whole gamut of emotions, while knowing that we don't have to get stuck in them.  

                                                                  For everything there is a season,
                                                              a time for every activity under heaven.
                                                                 A time to be born and a time to die.
                                                                A time to plant and a time to harvest.
                                                                   A time to kill and a time to heal.
                                                          A time to tear down and a time to build up.
                                                                   A time to cry and a time to laugh.
                                                                A time to grieve and a time to dance.
                                                                                 Ecclesiastes 3