For the 42nd week of the P52 Photo Challenge, the theme is "Sad."
Just a few weeks ago, the colorful leaves were still on the trees. Now, the landscape is mostly bare tree limbs, with a few stubborn leaves hanging on.
The ground is littered with leaves in various shades of brown, gold, yellow, orange, and red; pine needles; and pine cones.
In the picture above, the grass is green - a rare patch of healthy color given that the majority of the grass is yellow or tan...a sign of the drought that has affected much of Minnesota.
Autumn is a bittersweet time on many different levels for me. It's a time when there are so many holidays that we celebrate and enjoy - Halloween, Thanksgiving, St. Nicholas Day, St. Lucia Day, Las Posadas, and Christmas. There are lots of happy memories to recall and to create.
Yet, it's also the mark of when Dad went to the nursing home (October 3, 2011); was hospitalized and overly-medicated to deal with the effects of Alzheimer's Disease (October 23-November 4, 2011); returned to the nursing home (November 4, 2011); was unable to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas last year because his needs exceeded what we could provide at home; and was put on hospice care (November 28, 2011).
Autumn truly is a time of transition...of letting go...and of accepting that I need to move through this season as it presents itself. Likewise, I need to accept winter (the season of dormancy) in order to get spring...a time of new life; and a renewed sense of energy and focus.
To rush through this season because it's sad and uncomfortable is doing a disservice to the grieving process. It's something that must be patiently dealt with and felt in order to get to that time of hope and new possibilities.