Dreams of old herald changes on the horizon
The smell of fall after a cool morning rain is an unmatched scent.
It’s this time, this season, which holds the scent of life changing.
Leaves morph in color and texture, changing from brilliant green to red, yellow, amber, crimson and brown. They curl and flap, clacking against bare tree, against bark and skin. They fall. Littering the ground with the promise of winter, a promise kept to the earth, a vow made to life.
Fall brings us into a sphere of change, closest to the realization of life passing away. It is the evening before winter, darkening, cooling, preparing the ground for long sleep. And we are blessed when we take heed
It is here where creation is born, where making new life becomes our purpose.
“At no other time (than autumn) does the earth let itself be inhaled in one smell, the ripe earth; in a smell that is in no way inferior to the smell of the sea, bitter where it borders on taste, and more honeysweet where you feel it touching the first sounds. Containing depth within itself, darkness, something of the grave almost.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters on Cézanne
People often go through life with some form of regret. Some bent of unhappy times. Others jaded by a foolish, youthful self. But when you look upon life with soft eyes, with the learned mind of the present, one will look not to failures or misfortunes as cruelly as they often do.
Our past is ripe with adversity, with songs of suffered temptation. Lies told and deception witnessed. A fall from grace along the path, slipping into the chasm, becoming lost along our way. We’ve taken what’s not belonged to us, and we’ve left scars with our tongues.
Many loves have been lost, and many lives we touched so bitterly the stinging taste is forever burned in our mouths.
But we all have these thoughts. We all have a time we wish to forget, to cast out into the cold, to forever be buried under life’s promised snow.
Still, we must always look ahead. For greater things always come.
It is only by looking upon the lessons of our old lives that we may change course, alter our cause, and move righteously forward.
If we do not, we have missed the lesson, we’ve missed the eternal blessing that exists within and around us all the while.
And we will then repeat the cycle, cursed by a familiar season. Because the truth is alive within our forgotten stories.
I’ve been paying attention to my dreams recently. Lately, much more vivid, in full color.
They play as a moving picture, a cinema of the past coming back to illuminate times long forgotten.
A most recent dream, I was brought to a place I once lived, to the trailer that I called home for a year after Hurricane Katrina destroyed my coastal home.
But the scenery was different. It was no longer dull and gray as I remember it. It was no longer cold and damp, cursed by wishes of a better life. And it was no longer small and cramped, marked by the din of stray dogs roaming the gravel.
This time, it was full of life, sitting adjacent a clear stream. Its eddy was pure, flowing onward, the kind of stream you’d not hesitate to drink from.
Above my old home was a treehouse, full of children laughing and playing. Inside were new items, and the old ones I’ve forgotten. It held the stores of my life, of a time when despair was my only friend, when devastation was the only chord I knew.
But it was painted brilliantly, full of the amazing hues which color my life now.
“Except. What is normal at any given time? We change just as the seasons change, and each spring brings new growth. So nothing is ever quite the same.”
― Sherwood Smith, Crown Duel
When our old lives come back to revisit us, whether in a dream, in song, in thought or in passing mention, we are tasked to pay attention. We’re dared to uncover its meaning. For these times are that which shaped our lives. And they were the guiding rods we followed to where we now stand.
Though my old life is full with times of trouble, of moments where I stood still and life moved in directions I could not follow, these were all but moments for me to learn and to grow.
And growth surely took place, even though I was never aware.
But these glimpses of our past herald a new day, a new dawn which we have the power to hold right now. Our mornings will change, our sunrises will lift from the horizon proudly, without worry of a blemished past, burning out the shadows of yesterday.
It is when our old lives appear that our new lives become clear and focused. And it is here where we may stand and look onward knowing fully where we’ve been, and content that we may not truly know where we’re going.
Yet onward we travel.
Life is full of choice. It’s full of wild adventure, but only if you allow it.
And though our past may shape us. And though it may call to us in remembrance. Be sure, it will never define us.
What we do here and now matters most. And when we’re able to visit our old lives, in those moments of autumnal nostalgia, we’re given a blessing to witness this day, the time when challenge meets truth.
Because the truth of our lives exist right now.
Our paths will aways contain a fork, a choice to make, a time to ponder the order of change. And though we may not always take the perfect step, in remembrance of our old days, we can move forward with care to embrace life and all that it contains.
We’re only here for a short while, and it’s best not to tramp in the past. But it’s good to remember the lessons we learned.
May we all find our footing in the present, and witness the beautiful color painted within the margins of our lives.
And may we all travel onward, alight with the brilliance of promise and hope.
Godspeed as you walk.