“Youth is like spring, an over praised season … more remarkable for biting east winds than genial breezes. Autumn is the mellower season, and what we lose in flowers we more than gain in fruits.”
~Samuel Butler (1835-1902), English Novelist
Celebrating events that signify changes in one’s life story is how we roll. Be it a birth, an engagement, a new job, or purchasing a home, we relish these marked moments – the specific points on our personal timelines when something significant shifts in our landscape, changing our season and propelling us in a new trajectory.
Last Tuesday was one such day, the changing of a season on my proverbial calendar. In my teens and 20’s, such seasons were discussed in sad hushed voiced, leading a young woman to believe this was a season to dread.
Somewhere in my 40’s however, the fear and sorrow that always surrounded knowing this day would come was replaced with an excitement and peace – a realization that this was more of a coming of age experience to be celebrated, not a time to mourn. Perhaps it was due to watching various friends and colleagues that were my age or younger passing away and not making it to this point, or slowly realizing my body may be one age but my mind still thinks it is 25. Whatever it was – my view shifted, and I looked forward to this impending change of season with gratitude and enthusiasm.
As women, we spend the first part of our young life, our spring, trying to conform to what society tells us we are supposed to be and live up to what we think others expect of us. Then for the first third of our adulthood, our summer, we are caretakers of others, whether our spouses, our children, our parents, our pets, our neighbors … often leaving our own needs and desires to attend to everyone else.
Our fall however, this autumnal season of our lives, feels warm and comforting. This means hanging up my childbearing years, and saddling on my own wings. Much like a butterfly, in this stage I can leave my cocoon of having to nurture everyone else and embrace nurturing myself.