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Naperville
Friday, April 19, 2024

Real Life – In between

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One of my favorite times of year has arrived.

While many may mourn the diminishing daylight hours, I try to redirect my focus, and appreciate what nature has in store.

The hoot of owls at dusk; industrious hummingbirds at the feeders; the sudden wilt of my summer annuals, and the browning down of graceful ferns.

The constancy and repetitiveness of seasonal change is one of my anchors.

Each vignette has its own significance, and when considered one by one, offers fodder for reflection about life, about time, and the comfort of habits.

So much of what we took for granted, the rituals and expectations of everyday existence, evaporated during the pandemic.

Simple assemblies, such a school children waiting for the bus: gone. Commuting on the train to the city: dicey. Taking a delivery to your door into the house? Protocols.

I hope never to wash my grocery packaging again.

This is but one item on a long list of things I pray we do not have to confront anew. Yet another way to evaluate such a jarring period in history is to think about how we may have been living by rote; and to examine what habits are in service to the way we see ourselves now.

These deep questions may seem daunting, but I believe the adversity and losses we have faced place us in a unique position to change with less resistance.

Some habits we rely on to keep ourselves on track, or to honor a value we have chosen to be personally important.

One of mine, which I will not discard, is to hold off until it is officially calendar-autumn to pursue seasonal tasks.

To savor the endings before embarking on beginnings takes patience, perhaps even discipline—but observing the change, without forcing, tunes the gardener to the garden, and not the other way around

Accepting the disorder of transition is uncomfortable, but nature has much to teach.

Let us learn. (c)

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Patti Koltes
Patti Koltes
Real Life © by Patti Koltes. Contact her at pkoltes@gmail.com.
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