Thoughts like sparrows

Wednesday morning, early.  The sky was full of promise.  The clouds, the ever-lighter blue sky, all radiant as the sun bled over the horizon.  A sky of beginnings, of life, the kind of sky that, as I’ve said before, makes me believe in God.

Wednesday, mid-morning.  The ground a riot of yellow leaves, a blanket spread around the tree that they fell from.  A ground resplendent with endings, with the beauty of life flaming out, of a year drawing to a close.

Up and down, beginning and end, sky and ground.  These polarities exist in every single hour of every day for me.

This is not my favorite time of the year.  Darkness encroaches.  We are a day away from the turning back of the clocks, which for me marks the beginning of the cold stretch of the year when there is far more dark than light.  I’m filled with dread about the darkness, and I’m also walking with memories of the difficult weeks and months after Grace’s birth heavy on my shoulders.  As much as her birthday reminds me of the as-yet darkest season of my life, it also reminds me of the swift flight of the years.  I think, on balance, the latter is worse for me than the former.

I try to hang onto the inspiration and peace that so fill the morning sky, but it’s hard, when the days shift so quickly towards dusk and the sidewalks are muddy with wet, decaying leaves.  The black branches of bare trees form their nets against the gray sky, and there is poetry in their barrenness, but so, so many endings. 

I do have calm and peaceful thoughts, but they scatter like a flock of sparrows taking flight from those dark branches into the faded gray air.  In their wake, a faint current of air disturbed by the beating of their wings, a sense of sadness, of rawness.  Another season – fall, this year, my daughter’s eight year on earth, my eighth year as a mother – draws to a close. 

I’m moved enough by the morning sky, though, that it’s not all bleak.  There are strands of incandescent joy and beauty woven through this damp, dark time.  All over again, I am reminded of the inextricability of endings and beginnings, of death and life, and of the beauty that can exist in each.  Today it is Jack Kornfield’s words that are ringing in my head, over and over:

To live is to die to how we wanted it to be.

11 thoughts on “Thoughts like sparrows”

  1. “To live is to die to how we wanted it to be.“

    Wow. This is so true and becomes truer as the years pass. My daughter gave me a run for my money from the age of 15 to 20. It was scary, stressful and heart-breaking. That is when I first learned that I needed to let go of “how we wanted it to be”.

    All parents have hopes and dreams for their children. When those hopes and dreams don’t become a reality you begin to mourn. Let me tell you, it’s tough.

    “The darkest season of your life”? Did you have post-partum depression? I did with one of my children and my daughter may have a touch of it right now with her first.

    I love reading your blog. You have a beautiful way of expressing yourself.


  2. This is just achingly beautfully expressed, Lindsey.

    It seems that really looking at the dark parts of life and, difficult as it is, feeling them fully, is the only thing that allows us to move through them. Your bravery and tenacity will continue to bring you into unimaginably beautiful places of light. Much like your photograph…

    Blessings on the journey and thank you for bringing us along.

  3. What I’m about to suggest doesn’t begin to solve the world’s problems, but it helps me turn the corner when the brightness of summer fades away and I find myself scraping the bottom of the barrel because my days begin before the sun has come up: Christmas lights. String them up and enjoy them day and night. It should be mandated, that we light sparkly little lights on this weekend of darkest darkness, when the clock turns back and the light of the afternoons melts away, way too soon.

    Oh, and candles, too: scratch a wooden match and light a candle to put in the table, and enjoy that smell, when you blow the match out, that brings back all the fires in all the fireplaces of your life.

    It’s a start, anyway…

  4. It’s funny, fall is both my favorite and least favorite season, both at the same time. I love the colors of fall and I love the smells of fall:pumpkin bread baking and fires burning in the fireplace. I love the cooler weather and being able to wear my jeans every day. But, like you I don’t like the shorter days and all of the darkness. I also don’t like the fact that winter is right around the corner. Winter for me means cold and isolation. Winter seems endless here in Minnesota. Fall is definitely a time of change, that is for sure! Thank you for writing this post today!

  5. I struggle with the darkness and bleakness of winter. But I’m still drinking in fall and all of it’s bounty. We are on the same wavelength with our posts this week. xo

  6. After living in California for 20 years, I am afraid of the dark, cold days to come too. I think it’s human nature. But we can prepare too. I think you’re preparing and that’s a beautiful thing. You are healing and preparing at the same time.


  7. Despite the darkness and the dreariness, there is something about this time of year that feels so full of promise. At least for me. So I’m wishing some of that for you, and hoping you find brightness in the days ahead.

Comments are closed.