The leaves were more beautiful than ever this fall. At least I’d never noticed such stunning foliage before. It caught my eye daily as I drove to work for about a month, each day the trees appeared brighter and more breathtaking than the last. Until one day when everything was just brown.
I’ve never liked the color brown.
And I’ve always had a really hard time with transitions.
So, when Jack comes home from his theater class and has to do homework, eat dinner, change for karate, and get into the car to drive to karate– I understand why he melts down and just can’t handle life. Transitions make me want to scream and throw stuff too. He’s too much like his mom, that boy of mine.
I live in a part of the world where we have four very distinct seasons. This is nice, as each time of the year dazzles us with unique weather events. But it can also cause a lot of internal drama for someone who has a tough time with transitions. This time of year, going from the outdoorsy extroversion of summer and early fall into the chilly darkness of late fall and winter is particularly prickly. It feels kind of like walking into a deep forest where sunlight struggles to trickle in through dense pine boughs.
At least it feels that way for me.
I keep wanting to turn around and look back out towards the light. Eventually, my eyes will adjust to the dimness, and will be able to pick up on the subtle beauty of a new landscape, but until them, it is a bit of a challenge and it feels kind of sad.
When I think of the word “Transition,” I think of giving birth to Emily– the anniversary of which is coming soon. My labor with her was almost all transition, the time of the birth process during which contractions speed and intensify to hep baby down into the birth canal.
It was terribly painful and very fast– I birthed Em in 45 minutes and three pushes. Had my labor with her lasted any longer than that I would have begged for an epidural, but as it was so fast, I got to experience the entire thing full strength. Which I weirdly think of as one of the most incredible gifts I’ve ever been given.
My daughter emerged from me pink and fresh and new as a piglet. She had gorgeous eyes that were round and luminous as the moon as she quietly contemplated me for the first time, and a darling rosebud mouth that clamped right onto my breast.
It was one of the best days of my entire life, and probably what I would pick to live over and over if I could turn back time.
The way time turns us and our world inside out and creates something new that often hurts to behold before it feels comfortable and great and then changes again into something else.
When Jack has transitional meltdowns, I try to help him be calm, and usually end up making him a lot angrier in the process. I wonder what would be helpful– for both of us– during times when we are feeling the pinch of growth and change? One thing I do know, that Jack does not yet know because he is still so young, is that resistance is futile. Leaves will change, snow will fall and then melt, and then green buds will pop out and dazzle our eyes yet again.