Sunday, September 20, 2009

Expansion and Contraction

It was about 45 degrees yesterday morning when I pulled out the long sleeved shirt and pants to go for a walk. For months it's been all shorts and t-shirts, but fall is announcing itself in the shorter days, in the blankets that have appeared all around the house and in the colors of the neighborhood trees.

I set out yesterday morning for the stadium to walk the steps but when I arrived there was already activity inside. They were putting the finishing touches on preparations for the afternoon football game – I could already smell the charcoal scent of grilling and hear the hammer strikes as they raised the VIP tents.

A bit disappointed that I was going to have to just walk instead of sweat a bit more on the steps, I took a route I don't normally take around the city. The sky was perfectly blue, not a cloud in sight. The sun was beginning to warm me up and I started thinking about fall.

I'm a person who's more comfortable with expansion in my life than I am with contraction. I love the stretched out days of summer with hours and hours of daylight. The enormous number of choices that being outside offers insure that I am almost never bored. As the days shorten and turn colder I find myself, both mentally and physically desiring to spin a cocoon. Wanting to hibernate. Dreading winter.

As I turned the corner, thinking about expansion and contraction, I headed down a sidewalk lined with stately old maple trees. They formed a canopy over the entire street. The light peeking through was filtered to a beautiful red-gold and as I looked up I could see patches of blue sky peeking through. In that exact moment, the breeze blew just enough to shower me in hundreds of red maple leaves. I stopped, looked to the sky and let them fall all around me.

Expansion and contraction. Green moves to red. Light moves to darkness. Soul warming heat moves to a bone numbing chill.

Outward moves to inward.

Perhaps these are the rhythms of life.

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