The Last Tasks Of Autumn

Jefferson Memorial Fall
Jefferson Memorial, Washington DC
Monarch butterfly
Monarch butterfly

Everything is “bloomed out” by the end of harvest. Summer’s warmth has hopped the last train out of town and everything left looks so tired and sad and boring.  Good thing All Hallows Eve comes in late fall. October on the earth, in a lifetime or in a career is a good time to buy a fright mask because it’s the time when “being yourself” starts to feel like being the starring monster in a horror movie.  A pall of gloom spreads over the soul  the moment the conclusion comes that the old “self” everybody knows has changed. Let me explain what happens with this bit of the tale of the Butterfly Sister:

A big, fat , yellow and black caterpillar, driven by voracious appetite, crawled out to the tiniest twig on a branch. She felt something inside her was happening, but could not tell what, so she kept eating, hoping it would go away. Just as the caterpillar stretched for the last leaf dancing tantalizingly just out of reach, the twig snapped. The caterpillar dropped through the branches and plopped down on a bed of springy fallen leaves. She shook the surprise out of her head and lifted herself slightly to get her bearings.  As she started back to the roots of the tree she fell out of she felt whisper light feet land very close by. “Who are you?” the caterpillar asked the creature with huge wings edged in yellow and black lace. “I’m your sister”, the creature said. “I’m a butterfly and after you change, you will look like me”. “Well, my butterfly sister”, the caterpillar answered curtly,  “Do you mean that  I will change into you?” “No”, the butterfly said, “You will change into more you because you are already a butterfly inside. To make your wings come out, though, you have to go through your change. You will always be you inside, no matter what you look like outside”.

So it is in a lifetime; so it is in a career. Autumn, then, is the beginning of the awareness of the need to allow an older form to fall away, so that a new form with wings, the original vision of you,  can finally take its place.

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