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October 7, 2020

The Day the Leaves Changed.

The revitalizing greens that have been waving in the wind on the trees outside my house are turning into vibrant reds and yellows.

The crisp, cool air brings memories of Nana’s farm, sweaters, and smiles.

Fall has always been my favorite time of year. As the leaves drop from their perch, I remind myself to let go.

On November 4th of 2018, the leaves changed in a way I would never have predicted. The dad I had waited most of life to have passed away in his sleep—after cleaning up leaves.

Since that day, the sight of fall makes me cringe. My body floods with grief and anxiety. A feeling that resembles hatred begins to consume me as I weep over the loss of comfort and love.

Let go, let them fall, let them rest on the earth and become one with nature again.

I’m attempting to return the change that day made within me—to remember the lesson in fallen leaves, to accept the natural necessity of letting go. A tear falls from my eye, reflecting my tree’s leaf doing the same.

Grief is a process of feeling and letting go, landing on acceptance. Nature is returning to the earth—my dad, the leaves—just as I am returning to my loss and grief, allowing myself to let go, one leaf-reflecting tear at a time. I’m processing change, processing loss, and remembering why I admired fall for the spiritual practice it resembles.

I will start with the belief and connection that caused me to suddenly despise falling leaves, and I will stand among the trees, feel the winds of change, and begin letting go—forgiving nature for taking away one of my greatest gifts.

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