"When the birches in the hollow turned as golden as sunshine and the maples behind the orchard were royal crimson and the wild cherry trees along the lane put on the loveliest shades of dark red and bronzy green, while the fields sunned themselves in aftermaths, Anne from Anne of Green Gables exclaimed on one Saturday morning, "I am so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.  Look at these maple branches. Don't they give you a thrill--several thrills?".  

Ah, Lucy Maud Montgomery, you are absolutely right, October is a beautiful month in Canada, filled with colours, magical light, harvest abundance and all the simple pleasures one's heart needs. I love Autumn. I really do! The quiet gracious dance of the falling leaves gives me a thrill every time I witness their movements - they seem as alive in their ending as I feel alive right now. My soul is ready to welcome fall in.
There were some days, some tasks this season that seemed like big insurmountable mountains to climb. I have experienced great disappointment in confronting unfair decisions, bureaucratic barriers, and confusing and unclear procedures... There were sadness and hopelessness and suffering... But in the mist of all this, there is learning, transformation and growth.
Challenges and heartaches can bring affirmations of unexpected depth, a healthy sense of vulnerability, knowing that life is both hard and good, beautiful and ugly, hurtful and healing. Being alive and living life means showing up not only for the pleasant moments, but staying open for the inevitable difficulties and losses as well, because... it will change; nothing is permanent. By its very nature, life means change and we can not always control the reality. The only thing that depends on us is how we react to it - our attitude. Finding fulfilment in life, I believe, comes from cultivating and nurturing our acceptance and open attentiveness to the full spectrum of life, our ability to embrace with grace and gratitude joy and sorrow, fear and courage, darkness and light, indifference and kindness, bad and good moments. No challenges should prevent us from our strive towards beauty, truth and freedom; they only teach us how to be less naive, more thoughtful, stronger and resilient when we meet them next time.

This perfect October morning, I found myself walking down the pathway quickly pulling the dog. Nature has already painted everything in copper, dark red and gold. Leaves were slowly floating on the water's surface. With all the worries that had occupied the back of my mind, I failed to experience the glamorous autumn landscape. When... suddenly, a big orange-brownish butterfly appeared in front of my face. While circling in the air, its subtle autumn colours blended with the pretty falling leaves from the trees. The monarch butterfly was involved in a very gentle beautiful dance while occasionally returning to me. By performing its pirouettes, the butterfly was seeking my attention. It was this moment, when nothing else in the world matters, the universe was collaborating with me again. It was a silent private conversation between me and the monarch butterfly who was probably having its last autumn dance before migrating thousands of kilometres from our city to the hibernation site in Mexico. She wanted me to know something. She wanted to gift me with the most caring, warm and assuring HUG of the universe. "You are alive, Sylvia! You are healthy. You are loved. You are a fighter for light. You are OK! Let it go and breathe into your faith of goodness in life. Dance with the leaves!"
Coming back home, I diced fresh-picked apples from the orchard. I put them into a dough and gently kneaded it with my floured hands. I formed wedges and put them into the oven. The room was concurred by the smell of baked apples and cinnamon. I made coffee. I sat on the sofa. I gulped down a sip of the hot reviving brew and took a big bite from the buttery flakey warm apple honey scone.... and said to myself "I am so glad I LIVE in a world where there is Autumn!" 

Thank you, my dear friends, for your endless support and words of encouragement. 
Happy Thanksgiving Day to all of you who will celebrate this weekend!