Fall

Where has the summer gone? It is officially over, yet the heat hangs upon our nation’s capital like a veneer, unwilling to quite release its grasp. It’s been a busy few months, and yet even the word “busy” is a mask for many other things it may be covering: worry, stress, long days with little breathing time, taking on new projects, and truly being overbooked. Far easier to say, things have been busy.

And yet, we must breathe – we must inhale and exhale and continue this cycle repeatedly each day until our time has passed. I’ve spent part of this year with an inner veil of grief over the loss of my mentor, the tragedy in my hometown of Orlando, and now, the loss of a dear college friend who left us far too soon. In his short life, he played a big part in helping to protect Florida’s natural resources, touching many lives in the process. I can only hope that when my time comes, I will have left such a legacy as Chris has.

As we bid summer goodbye and welcome the fall, and a favorite poem comes to mind. A reminder that life goes on and it’s that which passes away, nourishing life itself.

“You shall ask
What good are dead leaves
And I will tell you
They nourish the sore Earth.
You shall ask
What reason is there for winter
And I will tell you
To bring about new leaves.
You shall ask
Why are the leaves so green
And I will tell you
Because they are rich with life.
You shall ask
Why must summer end
And I will tell you
So that leaves can die.”

– Nancy Wood