Striding into Fall

“Fall is the older season, a more seasoned season. The weather surrounds you instead of beating down on you…The weather is lighter, marbled, and it makes you feel like striding again, makes you glad that so much works at all.”

– Anne Lamott


I am not a slow walker. Slow walking makes me crazy.

I am a strider. My dad was a strider, two of my own steps to match one of his. Always falling behind, hurrying up again.

It’s a blessing and a curse, this not slowing down. Two steps at a time, up we go. Never one.

Here in these late September days, sunny and warm long past Labor Day (perhaps a “second summer”) I am compelled to move with conviction. School is in session and I will not fall behind.

These are days for striding. And it’s because we stride that so much works at all.

The first frost of winter is coming. The harvest will not gather itself.


person wearing yellow jacket walking in forest

Photo by Louis on Pexels.com

The Rhythm

I really appreciate it when friends share great stuff with me. Since this one is pretty great, I’m sharing it with you, too. 

The Rhythm

In any creative feat

(by which I mean your work, your art, your life)

There will be downtimes.

 

Or so it seems.

Just as the earth is busy before the harvest

And a baby grows before its birth,

There is no silence in you.

There is no time of nothingness.

 

What if,

During the quiet times,

When the idea flow is hushed and hard to find

You trusted (and yes, I mean trusted)

That the well was filling, the waters moving?

 

What if you trusted

That for the rest of eternity,

Without prodding, without self-discipline,

Without getting over being yourself,

You would be gifted every ounce of productivity you need?

What would leave you? What would open?

 

And what if during the quiet times you ate great meals

And leaned back to smile at the stars,

And saw them there, as they always are,

Nourishing you?

 

There are seasons

And harvest is only a fraction of one of them.

 

There is a rhythm that made everything.

The next time you stand in the kitchen, leaning,

The next time a moment of silence catches you there,

Hear it, that rhythm, and let it place a stone in your spine.

Let it bring you some place beautiful.

– Tara Sophia Mohr –

 


DAVID BERRY is the author of “A More Daring Life: Finding Voice at the Crossroads of Change” and the founder of RULE13 Learning. He speaks and writes about the complexity of leading in a changing world.

Harvest Time

A “volunteer” fig tree sprung up in our yard this summer. We left it alone, cautiously optimistic that we might get some fruit. It did not disappoint. We picked five or six ripe figs a day for a couple of weeks at the height of summer.

The ones we didn’t pick the birds took care of until we realized that they we’re getting more than their fair share. So, we put a large piece of netting over the tree to keep them at bay.

But the netting also kept us at bay, making it more challenging to get to the ripe fruit on the days we remembered to pick it.

That’s when the fig beetles showed up. Overripe fruit takes them to their happy place and they came in droves to get it.

From across the yard I noticed a dark clump where a green fig had been ripening. Upon inspection that “clump” was the beetles amassed in the photo above. It was impressive to see them make quick work of that mushy piece of fruit.

It got me thinking about the opportunities or ideas I am sometimes slow in acting on, the fruit that ripens in my mind and heart that looks so promising as it grows but becomes more intimidating the closer it gets to harvest time.

“What if I’m not ready?”

“What if nobody gets it?”

“What if it’s not good enough?”

This is what’s true: if you’re ever “ready” you’ve waited too long.

The birds and the beetles will get their fill.

Will you get yours?

DAVID BERRY is the author of “A More Daring Life: Finding Voice at the Crossroads of Change” and the founder of RULE13 Learning. He speaks and writes about the complexity of leading in a changing world.