Fall is one of my absolute favorite seasons. I enjoy watching as the trees change colors, and although I do not particularly care for cold weather, I love pulling out my fall boots and getting my hot chocolate ready for the cooler weather. Fall also signals the coming of Thanksgiving and Christmas, which are two of my favorite holidays. When fall comes, I start my baking craziness (prompting my husband’s serious side eye as I go crazy in the kitchen). Fall is just the beginning of all kinds of greatness for me. It has not always been that way, but it is now. Recently, I went on my morning hike up a mountain near me. This is nothing unusual, but on this particular morning, I took a closer look at the scenery all around me. I paid attention to the trees. I looked at the insects that were still running around in nature. I especially focused on the changing colors and the view around the mountain. I noticed, upon my perusal, that there were leaves of all different colors. Beautiful, luscious, fall colors. They captivated my attention. Upon closer inspection, I saw that many of the leaves were the same, just different colors than they had been throughout the year. For some reason, this was a particularly poignant point for me. As I studied the leaves, I saw the varied colors, but one fact remained; No matter what color they changed, they were still leaves. Their environment dictated that they change. It appeared that they would die off never to return, and yeah, that seems to be the case on the surface; however, as I thought of it more, I understood that leaves will always remain. The cycle of their life may make them seem obsolete. Shifts happen, but when spring comes again, so will the leaves. This made me think of our lives and how things happen that make it seem as if we will never recover. The “colors” of our lives change, and maybe it does not seem as beautiful as the fall colors, but there is an amazing undercurrent to that change. All things really do work together for our good. I have seen my life shift all around me. Things have happened that did not look good, and definitely did not feel good, but one fact remained; that is the fact that who I am in essence will always remain. Who I was created to be, what I was created to do, the lives I was created to touch, none of that changed as my life went on around me. So, embrace the seasons of change, and know that when it is all over, you will still remain.
I like being in control. Really, I do. That is not to say that I cannot function when I am not, but it can be a bit uncomfortable. Imagine my surprise when my husband came to me and suggested an East Coast tour for our 8th wedding anniversary. His only caveat was that we would go to several states, and instead of planning what we would do in each, I had to be alright just “going with the flow”. He did not want me looking up things to do, or having an itinerary scheduled. I was supposed to just sit back and let things happen. Say what? I thought that he must have been mistaken thinking that I could or would allow that to happen. As we talked about it more though, I decided that I could try. Admittedly, I still charted our course and where we would stay in each state, but I did not plan our outings or anything else. I allowed myself to be alright with losing control.
As we flew in to our first destination to get our rental car for driving from place-to-place on our way back to Georgia, I was excited. It was good to get away and be able to breathe a little. Still a bit hesitant not knowing what we would be doing exactly, I decided I would relax and see what happened. As each day passed, I felt life’s cares begin to fade away as I enjoyed discovering new things and wandering somewhat aimlessly through each place. As I let go of my control, I rediscovered the joy in being present in the moment. I understood, again, that life is not about having every single aspect of my time being carefully constructed and organized. I remembered what it was to live, laugh, and love without parameters and without knowing the next steps. I rediscovered me along the way. As I released the tendency to plan and to know what would happen at all times, I understood that sometimes losing control is not a bad thing.
Now, I cannot say that I will never want to control things, because I will. My personality lends to having things organized and efficient, but I understand that sometimes life will just happen. Sometimes it needs to happen…and I have to be alright with that. In the same token, many of us feel that if we let go a little, things will not go as we would like them to. Honestly, they may not. One thing is for sure though; Life goes on. Good and bad happens, but you are built for this. Breathe. Release. Live a little. Life is waiting on you.