Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Autumn Repose

This week the autumnal days have composed a soft and steady symphony; a fluid ebb and flow of sun and moon, breeze and rain, muted gray and smiling blue, curling leaves and unfurling blooms.

My soul has been still—settled and satisfied with the lot that has been dealt me, and my body, for the first time in 13 months, feels my own.

This, a most gracious gift, after learning to live a long and tiring year of chronic illness in a body that felt like a stranger's;
a frame broken and unrecognizable, an impostor in my once familiar world.

A body that didn't—couldn't—respond to the signs of the changing seasons with thrills of joy and remembrance the way it did when it was healthy and whole;
that shuddered at Winter's foreign frost, retreated from Spring's scouring rains, and squinted at Summer's bright light.

But today God has replaced the throbbing tempos of grief and the aching silence of sickness with the gentle, healing rhythms of Fall, and I remember what it is to have a body that I know and that knows me and my world.

A body that remembers Autumn, that recognizes Her dry warmth, earthen perfume, gypsy breeze, and early dusk;
that has stored in its cells Autumn memories captured by senses—sight of golden leaf, smell of rising smoke, taste of tawny russet, sound of sighing trees, chill of clearest night.

It has been two years since I last had a body that knew this gypsy breeze and could grant her passage into my soul, allowing her to swirl and stir within, unearthing the Fall memories that Winter buried there.

And so I walk into the setting sun, breathing deep, trying to swallow pools of sunshine and taste the azure sky;
my body welcoming Autumn, letting Her seep into every familiar pore,
and my soul remembers...

...Riding my little pink bike, wiry legs pedaling fast, wheels splashing through puddles and whizzing down hills, my lungs full of fresh air seasoned with the smell of wet earth...

...Sprinting laps around a stadium, face dripping with sweat, chest heaving; my teammates running behind and before me under an October sun....

...Shuffling through crunchy leaves toward the Glendora foothills while chatting with dearest friends, then stopping downtown for steaming peppermint mochas...

...Piling dirty dishes snugly in the sink, the smell of pumpkin spice wafting through the house, roommates waiting patiently for a slice of sweet bread—a taste of Fall...

...Helping twenty five pairs of little hands pick from piles of orange, yellow and green fabric scraps and tangled balls of yarn, the ingredients for third grade pumpkin patch collages...

These memories rise and rush out my eyes, wet and salty. The wind wraps around me and my spirit settles into my body, quiet and content. And in this settling there is a shedding of pain of loss and fear of the future: a lifting of my spirit. For in this reunion of body and soul is freedom, the feeling of coming home.

I close my eyes and spread my arms wide, welcoming the release, hoping never to forget this feeling: a foretaste, I hope, of heaven.

© by scj


  1. Autumn is my fave, too. It just makes me feel all... cozy.

  2. Yes! I have yet to meet someone who wasn't inclined to favor it. ;)

  3. This post thrilled my soul!!! Thank you so much for sharing of yourself and your journey, it is truly inspiring. : )

  4. So thankful that you are feeling more at home in your body! That is such a blessing after what you have been through.

    Autumn has always been tied with Spring as a favorite season for me.

  5. Thank you, Robin and Sharalyn. I'm so glad to be able to walk through life with the both of you. :)