(Photo by Betsy Biddle Lange)
Saturday dawned crisp and new, infusing life into our summer weary bones. After a long hot Southern Summer, even the trees seemed to sigh with contentment as a soft wind danced giddily through their limbs. Autumn, which had been scheduled to arrive a month ago, finally made her grand entrance and was greeted with hearty applause by the waiting crowd.
Upon my daughter’s suggestion, we visited the farmer’s market at Pepper Place in downtown Birmingham. The outdoor market, with row upon row of farm fresh meats, garden vegetables and local crafts was bustling with others who had ventured out of their homes (many with their leashed dogs)to enjoy the taste of an Autumn day.
Taking in the entire scene of families, children, lovers and dogs excitingly co-mingling in one outdoor venue, brought a smile to my face. Strangers talked to other strangers. Well-mannered pups were greeting each other, tails-a-wagging. ( There was a reason I did not bring my own ill-mannered canine). The overwhelming feeling I experienced was hope. The promise of renewal that Autumn brings.
Most people equate Autumn with the beginning of death. The leaves begin to die…the trees shed their clothing and the grass stagnates its growth until Spring. But for me, Autumn is energizing, restorative and a Promise of renewal. The changing seasons mark the passage of time.
Change is a constant. The earth changes, our bodies change, even our children change as they grow up.
But as constant as change can be, our minds still rebel against unexpected alterations that requires any adjustments to our routine.
Our comfort zone.
We like it. It is familiar. Remaining in the comfort of our current state is often preferable to moving on.
Even when our current state is as stagnate as a dead pond, we wrap the routine around our shoulders like a warm sweater.
But if there is no change…how could there be growth? How could the bright yellow daffodil push through the spring soil to begin its life journey , if the bulb had not been planted in the cool autumn ground?
Are you open to change?
For those who are open to continual learning…those who have not convinced themselves that they know it all…change means growth, evolution and learning.
They have learned to face the uncertainty of change with courage, humility, and determination.
Courage steels them for the learning curve ahead, the missteps they will face and the impressions they may leave on others as they first navigate a new path.
Humility offers forgiveness to themselves for not being perfect. They understand the pitfalls of leaving their comfort zone and they have given themselves permission to stumble at first.
But Determination guides them back on the new path, learning from each misstep and becoming a stronger more confident person in the process.
Are you stagnate in your growth? Do you want to grow and evolve in your service to others? Do you want to lead others towards the agency vision?
If so, have courage, humility and determination. Face the fear of leaving your comfort zone and forge ahead!
Start with this season of Hope and achieve the potential you and I both know lies inside of you…
Waiting to be planted…
Eager to Bloom!