The last day of September leads quietly into October. Summer takes one last swipe before fall takes the reins. The afternoon sun is bright and unfiltered – adding a golden glow around each leaf and blade of grass.
Every ending, marks the beginning of something, a continuation perhaps of the previous story, or a fresh start to hold with the gained experiences in hand. What the beginning consists of is a blank canvas waiting for the brush of the life you want to lead, the path you want to take, the people you want to bring in and allow into the weird worlds we create.
I drive past the old neighborhood with no thought and no purpose. I soon pass the corner park with an ice rink and baseball field. We took many at-bats and ran around the bases from sunrise to sunset in the summer months. As we got older, the games became more intense and what was “just for fun” became homerun hitting contests with high stakes and peppermint schnapps to get through the later summer and early fall.
This place, what I consider to be my roots, marked the ending of childhood and the beginning of adulthood.
I drive through the old neighborhood and I remember many things. I can feel the collective experience and I know this place lifted me to now. And with that awareness, I feel it is time to mark this chapter closed, and begin the next. The pages are still being milled from trees and I have yet to choose the ink, but the path is gleaming in the distant horizon across this field, waiting.
What that path is made of I have chosen to not acknowledge. Instead I will let my conscious and unconscious self guide the way, with help from the silent towering trees. Their voice echoes across the land, not in vibrations for the delicate bones in the ear to translate, but deeper, in the essence that makes us human.
Years before, the foundation was set, although at that time I did not realize this. In the open field surrounded by red pine, jack pine, and birch I laid in the tall grass and stared at the crisp blue sky free of clouds. The wind was noticeable from the whispering pine. Every few minutes, a raven’s caw complemented the external silence and drove me deeper into the land.
What was fuzzy, incomplete, bathed in the fray, became clear, free, and unobstructed. I could feel the tree roots sharing nourishment from the soil. I could see with my eyes closed the abundance of wildlife scattered across the land, now paying no attention to me. Or was it acceptance? I awoke from this brief journey, cut short by my own inexperience, breathless and confused. Where was I? Where did I come from? Did that tree really talk to me? I vowed on this day to learn the name of each tree and treat each blade of grass, and each creature, the same respect as I would like.
As I left that space, two ravens circled just above the tree tops. Passing closer, I could hear their wing flapping in the air, and the whoosh as they glided toward the sunset.
What I was before that day, ended, and the journey to today began.