BREATHING ROOM

Autumn of life

I am in the autumn of life
fighting it with every fiber of my being

I keep thinking, no it cannot be time
too soon for autumn’s arrival
I feel so vibrant, so strong

I resist believing
the long and lazy summer days
are behind me

You know the ones
the lingering loitering days
stretching out their limbs with time for everything
the possibilities reaching toward the wide horizon
the promise of ambitious dreams and aspirations
can still make manifest!

The yes I can!
deludes me backwards toward
the striving, hard-driving days of youth
pushing hard toward perfection

And yet, and yet
not meant to be
past its due date
no matter how hard I try to pry it open
I cannot will it so
even as the desire breaks my heart

No. Oh no.
I see it now
It is not the season of striving anymore
I am in the autumn of my days
the season of living with the life I have
not the life I might wish to be
the harvest time

This is my trunk
these are my roots
I am not in the season of pulling up
I am sending my roots down
deep into the earth
spreading my branches wide
offering shelter for the season of allowing

Autumn days grow shorter
I turn each ray of sun inward
transforming, transmuting
my very essence to light

Reflecting from within
brilliant red, orange and yellow
vibrating
shivering
shimmering
at street corners and bus stops
bending over busy streets and highways
gracing the idyllic town center
or the city parking lot
strewn with broken glass and beer bottles

Then, in perfect time
I quietly let go
to a breath of wind,
the weight of a raindrop
a sparrow’s gentle swaying on the branch
a free fall of quiet ecstasy
tumbling to the ground

--Patrice Ficken, 11.26.16