I Worried 

I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers 
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn as it was taught, and if not how shall I correct it?
Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven, 
can I do better? 
Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows can do it and I am, well, hopeless. 
Is my eyesight fading or am I just imaging it, am I going to get rheumatism, lockjaw, dementia?
Finally I saw that worrying had come to 
And gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
and sang. 
                                                                                                                                                          ~ Mary Oliver

It is unusually difficult for me to write in these increasingly complex and uncertain times we are all living in. My thoughts are messy. Emotions are messy. The truth is messy.  
I worry. I worry about my health, the safety of those I love, am I a good enough mom, friend, wife, daughter, citizen... Am I able to keep my ego in check? How is the world facing the challenges most of which we humans have created by ourselves? I worry about the flawed human reasoning and the growing lack of basic critical thinking. What kind of Earth will our children inherit? 
But then, I breathe out. Breathing out is calming. It encourages peace and insight. It helps me pay attention to my surrounding, reminding me that even in troubling times, there is beauty, kindness and joy in the world. 

I step outside and a tapestry of beautiful autumnal leaves hugs my walking feet. I walk forward with each footfall placing distance between me and the world of news stream, social media and phone calls. The seasons are changing. And the more I contemplate the changes, the more I grow appreciative of all the autumnal wisdom and generosity that pour unrestrictedly through me.  
A balance. 
Letting go.
Fleeting nature of all things...

Autumn tucks acorns in my pockets and faded hydrangeas in my arms. Autumn blows a fresh breeze in my eyes and puts a pumpkin-carved-like smile on my face. Autumn fills my kitchen with the smell of baked pears and my heart with a desire to create. 
The calming power of the natural world makes me tune in to my senses, slow down and pause. I am fully in this moment. The clutter of my mind begins to withdraw. The negative inner conversations switch off. There is nothing but the sounds of the season, the bounty of autumn, the simple beauty of small things, the whisper of simple everyday rituals, the comfort of home, the awakening of hope...

I am at home. I arrange a foraged bouquet in a vase, cook pumpkin soup and take a long warm bath. I light a candle, turn up the music, drift away in the calmness of dolche far niente to find my own STILL in the chaos of life. I am breathing out.