Of all the seasons I’m most connected to, it would be autumn. This association has changed over the decades. I’m in my 57th circle around the sun and autumn calls me home over and over. The subtle changes in the weather where those dog days of summer recede brings an appreciation to the transparency of autumn.
Aging isn’t only chronological; it is also soulful. I’ve rediscovered my true self in my emotional aging. Life’s tutelage has given me wisdom to see how I won’t accept any strikes against my being.
I stand without any leaves covering my silhouette. There’s less and less to hide and my autumnal self stands stronger as each season has led me to self-understanding. My symbolic leaves are frequently changing.
Life has changed me.
This piece wrote me Saturday morning, the day after the devastation and shock of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death. Like countless others, her death has left an indelible ache in my soul. These words are a tribute and acknowledgement, not to give up, but to keep pursuing equality, diversity, and truth.
Sometimes, it feels like the colors of the earth are sucked out and all that is left is an opal like grayness.
Breathing is an effort.
Pieces of information float in undecidedly like a fog on an empty endless sea waiting for a spark, a flicker, a ray of passion.
The sharpness in your heart mourns for another loss of justice.
The undefinable archetypal feels search for a solid focus, saying something like, don’t stop now.
It’s then when something pulls you to pick up your pen, find paper, and write.
Or you pick up a sign and protest.
Or you step out in the crowd and chant, Black Lives Matter.
Or you write to the U.S. Congress, your Senator, your Governor — until your voice is heard.
You continue to stand for equal rights. And you don’t let the naysayers drag you down and diminish your point of view.
My hair is greying at the temples where my thoughts dwell in a sea of clarity. All I feel are the zeros inside of circles. Such as the seasons, time, the earth, which turn me into a Tree, I am.
Skies see me and blink in earnest, nodding as I walk my way.
I’m learning to understand who I am.
Mistakes are my wisdom. Unknowing what I thought I knew, teaches me more than pretending. Asking for help to reach what I am unable to do, isn’t weak.
Sensitivity crafts me a vessel and we sail over seas not only to think but to weep. I’m not alone when the answers are few. More have come before me. That’s why the oceans are so salty.
And so, with this bit of overthinking, I can still smile and laugh with myself which lends me to poeticness too.
Let’s turn down the sun and let’s turn up the moon. Let’s trace the stars with our eyelashes. Let’s listen to the circles together. Let’s dream a wide dream.
Because we are all intrinsically interconnected — equally belonging to the circle of loving, living and dying.
Let’s make this world more true.
As a former elementary school teacher, who later became a private tutor for grades K-12, I can assure you there are ways we can be more prepared if our children aren’t able to return to school this fall.
In this article, I focus on the possibility of not having our children return to school in August or September because of COVID-19.
Ask yourself, what worked for you before and what didn’t? Make a list of pros and cons. Reframe the negative aspects the best you can. Our attitude as parents will foster our children’s perspective.
Granted, this last spring wasn’t ideal. Yet, how can we prepare to make it better if we need to repeat another round of ‘homeschooling’ this fall?
I’m huge on being prepared. Probably to the point of being overprepared. So, here are some suggestions. I’d love to hear your ideas too.
Reevaluate your child’s learning area.
Have you ever felt there are too many sides inside of you? Have you ever felt you don’t fit in and the requirements to be so-called normal are impossible?
What if our imperfections are absolutely perfect?
For instances, there’s the quiet side who speaks softly and there’s the vicious side that can inhale the sun and spew fire if need be.
There’s the fearful side, likened to a fierce wild stray who sees others as the enemy. We might growl to keep someone away.
As for me, one minute I can speak rose and turn the petals into magic but push me too hard and I will scratch you with my thorns.
My creative side carries me in between here and there and sometimes, I can’t figure out how to return to zero.
So, I stay there. It’s usually a mystical space where candles burn upside down and clouds become the ground. I swim far and deep because I breathe better underwater than in the air.
Carolyn Riker is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC) in private practice. She is also an author of three books. Her most recent book is "My Dear, Love Hasn't Forgotten You."
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