It occurred to me a while back that part of the reason I love fall (besides the excuse to start wearing my beloved sweaters again) is because fall is about “the great in-between.” To me, it always feels like a passageway, like a crisp tunnel of flaming reds and yellows in which things I no longer need start to fall away, and I begin to get a sense of what will flow in to replace them.
I’ve always been fascinated — and, until recently, tormented by — those in-between, liminal periods in life.
For most of my life, I hated the uncertainty that comes with being “in-between” so much that I rushed to get out of it as quickly as I could — only to end up right back in it. As in, I wanted to get out of the discomfort of “not knowing,” so I took action just to get away from my discomfort, and ended up creating more discomfort. (When we take action based on a desire to avoid something, we actually create more of what we’re hoping to avoid. It’s pretty annoying how that works.)
These days, I’m learning to truly be in the in-between.
And fall is a great reminder of how beautiful the in-between can be, if I open to it, breathe into it. There’s a sacred hush to fall, if I give myself a chance to feel it. The old is dying off, and the “what’s to come” isn’t here yet. When it comes down to it, there’s nothing but uncertainty, but during transitional periods we feel this more acutely. In fact, after fall there will be a winter in which much goes underground. In our personal winters, things are being worked out in us, things we may not be able to see or articulate. And it can feel terrifying, if we look at the unknown as anything but our friend.
I’ve come to feel that this dying-off, if you want to call it that, can be exciting, even exhilarating. And maybe that’s why I see fall as all about beginnings as well.
What are you open to letting go of as the fall season begins? What are you willing to let fall away? What might you be open to beginning?
The last day to register for our next session of Jenna Avery’s Just Do the Writing Accountability Circle is this Thursday, Sept. 27. I’ve written quite a bit here about the huge benefits I’ve experienced in being a participant in this group, and I’m also Jenna’s co-coach. If you need to create a regular writing habit, or would like some group support as you write, be sure to check it out!
Image is WET LEAF© Jay O’brien | Dreamstime.com