Time has since passed in that fluid way it has, gliding past us as a mixture of fleeting moments that don't last long enough and days that seem almost without end. Now we are later in the year -- it's November, and for many of us in the United States the weather is once more at a turning point. We find ourselves precariously balanced between Autumn and Winter, the winds moving craftily around us to bring hints of the fierce blizzards and biting cold that lie in wait while there are still leaves falling from the trees. It's an interesting time of year, and in a way I imagine it almost like we are standing in a hallway. Behind us is the doorway through which we came, and if we look back over our shoulders we can see the burning red and gold of the fall colors and smell the tangy scent of bonfires. Ahead of us is the doorway through which we must pass, and if we look carefully we can see our breath suspended in the air over a glinting white blanket of ice. We know we can't go backwards -- there's no space in the hall to turn around -- but we can surely go towards the next doorway as slowly as possible. Or can we? There's a certain lure to it, as if there is a siren song that none of us can resist. It is patiently sung and draws us steadily towards the next threshold despite our intentions otherwise. Perhaps in our hearts we know from years past that the march forward is inescapable, and so we ultimately succumb because we understand that to try and fight is a fool's errand.
We sat, as the world turned. First there was the green, oh the vibrant green. We gazed at each other, and the world was held within. There was no end to the rushing stream of feeling that ran between us. We lingered on, and the world turned. The leaves grew full, the branches laden with fruit. Everywhere, there was the sound and movement of life abundant. We shared the fruit, as we did all things, and there was abundance to spare. We tarried on, and the world turned. The leaves grew red, and gold... the wind whispered, and the leaves roared quietly. We were as one, the quietest time as we looked back, and ahead. We stayed too long, and the world turned. Winter came, and all was bare. Things had grown, borne fruit and passed away. We parted, as all things must.
Perhaps it's a story my mother would call "bitter sweet," but I still love it regardless. When I first received it I was amazed how readily the words crafted images for me, how quickly they could invoke memories of a time not long past. I suppose it's natural that it also appealed to me on a wholly different level, as a metaphor to help make concrete one of the things I was struggling with the most at the time. Now those reasons still hold true, but there is a new and even more important reason that I find this vignette so moving: it characterizes the inevitable cycle we follow throughout our lives. When I read those few sentences I'm reminded how when this one thing ended several new things arose. Yes, that season saw the termination of one relationship... but in its passing it opened the way to a new, better love as well as a multitude of new friends.