As I watched our children splash in the creek ahead of me, a grin of pure joy swept across my face. We were exploring a park near Dubuque, Iowa and noticing the first signs of fall in the trees around us. The kids were delighted to get their bare toes in the cool water. Feeling the clear water rushing around my feet felt refreshing to my own body, which was a aching a bit from carting the little ones around. Looking down at the water I noticed one of those first signs of fall on the ground before me... a colorful leaf fallen from the tree above us. The stark contrast between the summer scene in the creek and the symbol of fall in my hand launched me deep into thought about the experience of transitions.
Transitions naturally hold many layers of emotion, often seeming as though they conflict one another.
We may feel excitement for what's to come... while being unready to let go of what is.
We may feel anxious about our next phase of life... while also feeling ready to move forward.
Motherhood has intensified this experience tenfold. We cannot wait to regain our sleep and a bit of personal freedom, while simultaneously wishing we could hold their sweet little selves forever. We look forward to the new things they learn, while aching for the moments that have already passed us by. We're ready for their increased independence, while missing their tiny voices and fingers wrapped around our own.
I am currently cherishing the fun involved in toddlerhood while mourning the loss of most likely our last baby. Watching the joy of kindergarten bringing new experiences when in disbelief that our first baby is already there. Feeling gratitude for this phase of being at home while excitedly anticipating having more time for facilitating healing, writing and travel.
This photo reminded me not only of the magic held within the transition of seasons... summer and fall all captured in one single photo... but of the transition of womanhood I'm currently moving through.
Just as we never step in the same river twice, we never meet the same woman in the mirror twice. She is forever changed by the meaningful people and experiences in her life, each and every day.
New beliefs are explored through relationships with family and friends. Old pain is released to open up space for expansion of the body and mind. New hurt is navigated with more grace from what we've learned along the way. And all the while we are becoming entirely new versions of ourselves.
With transition comes uncertainty. We never quite know what the changing of seasons will bring. It may bring abundant joy and peace, loss and heartbreak, or likely a blend of all.
Among all the unknowns of navigating transitions, one thing is for certain. Change is inevitable. May we embrace transition with an open heart as we ease into this next season of life.