Friday, October 4, 2013

Lessons of Autumn

My window is open which is a small and gentle grace today. I am working to the soundtrack of drops of rain and falling leaves while my daughter shouts to me from the still green backyard.

"Mom, do wooly bears like wet stuff?" she hollers at my window, her boots covered in autumn mud and her hair wild as ever. I make-up an answer, a convincing yes, and tell her to look again in the fairy garden and under the leaves that hang low on the corner of the house. She nods and runs off again, magnifying glass in hand. Today we are searching for the almanac-friendly caterpillars, and she is desperate to hold one, balled up brown and orange, in hand.

Woolly Bear Caterpillar
"Wooly bears cocoon for the winter," I tell her. I'm reading the explanation of them online and stop when I get to the words, "Their hearts stop. Their guts freeze. Their blood stops."

Their hearts stop. But their life doesn't. Something in them preserves them through the season when everything else dies. They are born to gently graze death and beat it by the warm thaw of April. Sometime in spring, a tiger moth emerges. A new purpose. A new name. A new shape.

I guess I know this lesson of nature well. And maybe you do too.

Sometimes, in order to get from here to there, from this side to that side of things, from the running leap of faith to landing on your feet in Tomorrowland, something has to happen. Something must happen and will happen and it may feel a bit like death. 

Your heart will stop and your blood will freeze and from all outside angles and all interior feelings, it will feel as though your life has come to an end.

But do not fear (the message of hope is wrapped up in the cocoon of a farmer faithful caterpillar).

Your spring is coming.


  1. Did you just become a mind reader?? This couldn't be closer to what I am experiencing right now. Thank you for these encouraging words Andrea. I am waiting for spring...

    1. Oh friend, when you know you're living it, it is not fun or easy or even that beautiful. My prayer today is for your heart to rest even when it feels like it might stop. All the love.

    2. :) Thank you. You hit the nail on the head with this post, and yes, right now it is not beautiful in any way. But someday, I have to believe it will be.

  2. So very beautiful, this death that must come to have life again. I recall the death of many things this last year that felt like a never ending graveyard. But to breathe life again now? I'd face a thousand deaths for this fresh spring.