The End And The Beginning

I love the sound of the leaves fluttering down from stately maples and the rustle and crunch of each step as I walk this time of year. I revel in the cold rain of autumn and constant, in waves, or lashing against the bay window. I actually enjoy the grey sky. The symphony of colors changing hour by hour in a spectacularly leafy overture delights and thrills my soul. The nip in the air makes me want to raise my arms wide, breathe deeply, close my eyes, and feel the chill on my smiling cheeks while I lift my voice in one long glorious note.

It’s supposed to be the end of a season, the descent into hibernation, the packing up and putting away of all signs of life until spring finally awakens them many months from now. But, I can’t help but feel alive in the fall. Life seems to take on a more extreme role. The sun shines more brilliantly, but for less time. The cool begins to freeze our morning breaths. Snuggling into a warm cozy bed at night becomes a necessity and a reprieve. The extremes are what make me feel alive. There are no warm gently breezes, no balmy evenings on the porch, no sprawled out legs and arms on the bed attempting to find a cool spot on the covers. Instead – there is the ebb and flow of waves – real waves – white-capped waves against which we must do battle.

The changing seasons remind me of the struggle for progress, and that is what makes me feel alive.

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.”     – Frederick Douglass

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