Fall, my favorite season of all and yet, emotionally the most difficult one. As the warm summer evenings fade into crispy foggy mornings and trees get rid off there leaves my heart bursts of joy and sadness. Fall has always been my favorite! I love its smell and color, I love the abundance of nature treasures it gives us, how it all seems to fall in place again. And at the same time fall has been weighing hard on my heart the last 24 years. It was that fall we heard my mother had just a few weeks live. The chemo therapy she had been taking was not working any more and doctors had given up on her. Although there are somethings I can’t remember from that time and some other things I remember like the day of yesterday, there has always been a certain feel to the whole situation. That clear crispy sky, the leaves on the ground, that warm sun high up in the air. Music like Pearl Jam and Nirvana, endless bike rides through Amsterdam and Artis Zoo (where I had art class) always take me back.
This afternoon as I biked through the neighborhood I grew up in I felt that feeling again. A big black hole at the center of my body got covered by a fog of overwhelming sadness. As I biked on I realized that if I would just accept that feeling being there as if it was a visitor passing by my house, I would not have to BE that feeling and letting the feeling take over. It was not mine but just something that passes by. I could just breathe and observe the feeling. … It was hard not to let the feeling take over, but I just continued breathing mindfully and chatted with Isa who was sitting at the back of my bike. After a while the sadness shifted to anger, anger for all that was taken away from me -a childhood, safety, joy- and again I just kept on breathing not letting the whole roller coaster of emotions taking over.
Tears where running down my cheeks but, I realized that instead of being sad and angry over the past I could better enjoy the now. I am alive and OK now, I am breathing, I am here, here with my daughter and son and a beautiful, loving husband.I can give them that feeling of safety and create joy and happiness for myself and them.
As someone reminded me to think about what was given to you this year, what it was I was thankful for I realized it is exactly this. By becoming a minimalist and trying to live litter less I have the capacity to observe my feelings instead of letting feelings take over . I am able to move forward. I can let go.