Octobers: Leaves, change and beating hearts.

October
by Robert Frost
“O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
Slow, slow!
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.”
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October is my favorite my month of the year. Not only because its the month of my birthday but because its, in my opinion, the most beautiful month of the year. Its the highlight of the autumn season and full of life.
One of the things I love about fall is the fact that the leaves changing color is actually them returning to their natural color. Chlorophyll and Carotenoid are two common pigments in the cells of leaves. Carotenoid is the pigment that makes up the autumn colors of leaves, such as yellow and oranges. Chlorophyll and carotenoid are in leaf cells all the time during the growing season. But the chlorophyll covers the carotenoid — that’s why summer leaves are green, not yellow or orange. As the Earth makes its yearly orbit around the sun, some parts of earth get fewer hours of sunlight at certain times of the year. Trees respond to the decreasing amount of sunlight by producing less and less chlorophyll. Eventually, a tree stops producing chlorophyll. When that happens, the carotenoid already in the leaves can finally show through.
So the leaves don’t change or die when they turn to orange, red, or yellow. They simply turn into their natural color. I love that! The change is them returning to their natural state. They change to what they truly are. Funny how relatable nature can be sometimes.
Change is a natural part of life and despite how I hate it sometimes, and how hard it can be, it is a natural part of life. And it will happen, regardless of what we do or want. But like the leaves do, they return to their natural state without hesitation and fall willingly; knowing that rebirth is just a season away. And this process is one of the most beautiful things we can experience on earth.
What I’ve learned in my short season of life is that change is hard and sometimes overwhelming. But it is a natural part of life and brings forth the most beautiful moments we will ever know. And like the leaves, change is a reoccurring part of life; as the seasons, the continuous orbit of the earth around the sun and the steady pulse of a beating heart.
Just put your hand on your heart for a moment. Feel the pulse of your heartbeat. There’s nothing more beautiful than a beating heart. You know why?
Because it’s still beating. It’s still working.
You’re still breathing.
Regardless of the change we may go through, as long as that beating heart doesn’t change, you and I and everyone will be ok. Leaves fall off trees, but grow back every spring. Flowers lose their petals, but come back even more full and beautiful than before. The grass disappears under the cold of winter but grows back greener when the warmth of spring melts the cold. The seasons come and go every year. And pain comes and goes, as does happiness. But you’re still breathing and that’s something to be at peace about.
As Frost says in his gorgeous poem, “…tomorrows they may come and go.” But going or coming tomorrow is always there.
And if you get a tomorrow, that means one thing:
You’re still breathing.

I’m a child in a college student’s body

Remember when coloring was school work, nap time was dreaded and imagination was realer than reality? When friends weren’t posts on a computer screen and a tweet was an actual sound from an actual bird. Well now I would give anything to take a nap and work has a whole different meaning. Debt is a real thing and mommy can’t kiss everything better anymore. Growing up sucks. And I hate it.

Here’s a little fact about me…

I never wanted to grow up.

I actually told myself once that I never would because, as a grown up, I wouldn’t be able to play with all my toys. And I’ll tell ya, that barbie castle of mine was pretty awesome.

I was a kid infatuated with my imagination and I loved it. I would run in the woods or anywhere I was and create my own story, acting every character out. Regardless of being made fun of or getting in trouble because I would play with other kids. Or rather, I wouldn’t let them play with me because they didn’t think the way I did. Which obviously messed up everything in my stories because they never played it right, but thats a whole different matter.

I was just always in my own little world, which was far from little to me. And I never, ever wanted that world to go away. And looking at myself now, being a sophomore in college…I fear it will or already has.

There are times where I look back and wish that my carefree, childhood never would’ve ended. I think about that more than anything, actually. And even though we all have to learn to grow up, our inner child can stay young forever. And for anyone who knows me, my weird quirks, my obsession with platypi and love for certain cartoons…they know I never will be a complete grown up.

Yes, I will be responsible when needed, but I will always be the curious, imaginative carefree child I always was. And does that bother me? Not one bit!

So with that said, I am going to eat cookies at midnight, while watching The Fox and The Hound (secretly crying) as I snuggle with my stuffed platypi named Monte Cristo. Because I am an adult.

Why is his name Monte Cristo you may ask, to that I answer: What other fabulous name would you give a platypus?!

And all that was said by this 19 year old college sophomore.

When in truth its this little girl…

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In this college student’s body.

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Kids and adults, Peter Pan was right. Don’t grow up. Its a trap.

Confessions of a Verbivore

Have you ever just thought about words? How amazing the sound of them falling off your lips is? Simple words like “lovely” or more grand words such as “intriguing.” Whether long and intricate or simple and inspiring, words are extraordinary.

I consider myself a verbivore. The definition of this word is: One who has an enjoyment of words and wordplay.

Words such as:

Scripturient: having a consuming passion to write.

Resfeber: the restless race of the traveller’s heart before the journey begins, when anxiety and anticipation are tangled together. A ‘travel fever’ that can manifest as an illness.

Petrichor: the scent of rain on dry earth.

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Pluviophile: a lover of rain; someone who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days.

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Offing: the deep, distant, stretch of the of the ocean that is still visible from the land; the foreseeable future.

Nyctophilia: love of darkness; finding relaxation or comfort in the darkness.

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Aren’t those just thrilling!? There’s many more but I could write all day about words or sequences of them that excite me. The way words flow and fit together is amazing. Or how words can impose certain meanings on others by the position.

Take Robert Frost’s poem Stopping By The Woods On a Snowy Evening. Here Frost, through words, paints a picture of how beautiful a night in the winter is. And how mysteriously quiet it is. So you have this lovely view of silence.

Now take Edgar Allen Poe’s poem, The City and The Sea. Here Poe is personifying death as “a proud tower near the sea.” And how the lack of wind, the silence, proves that death is near and comes to all of us.

See how the context and use of words changes how we think of the word “silence.” Peace and Death. But used for the same word.

This is why I am obsessed with words and can never get enough of them. They have so much power and infinite uses. They live on paper and act through speech. And they leave me breathless every time.

And they are one of the few things that will always exist and can never be taken from me.

They are mine and always will be my not-so-secret obsession.

Silent Wood

Have you ever felt the overwhelming need for silence and peace? Those times where you wish that everything would stop and just be still. That you could go to that place in your imagination where everything makes sense and is at ease. Where, for once, everything is simply… quiet.

I have those moments at least once a day. And my silence sanctuary is always one of two places:

A forrest or a lighthouse.

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Lately my thoughts have been geared towards the trees than the ocean. I’ve had this desire to leave everything and just go deep into the forrest and be still in this world of chaos.

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I was with some friends hiking recently, when my natural Wanderlust came out and I decided to leave the path and go explore the forrest. We hiked down and discovered a small ravine and was overwhelmed by the peace that was present in this small piece of the mountain. Each tree specifically placed with leaves and branches like no other. The sunlight hitting the ground and trees, only where nature would allow; sitting there, just enjoying this corner of a giant painting on display, I couldn’t help think we were like a mere brushstroke in this massive artwork. It was utterly breathtaking.

But what struck me was not the beauty nor the authenticity of the trees, but the area we were in. Not even two miles from where we were sitting, lies a busy college campus and the mid-day traffic of a lively town. So many cars, and businesses and people going on with life. And here we were in complete silence. The only sounds heard were my own content breath’s and the natural life of all that was in the woods.

In the midst of this crazy life we found a silent wood. A haven of stillness. A place that was truly quiet.

I couldn’t help but sit there in awe of how silence and stillness exists so close to chaos.

But also how one feeds off of the other, in a sense.

The chaos and stillness in life allows us to differentiate between the silence and the noise. Through chaos we learn to appreciate the silent moments more.

Needless to say I have and will go back to my silent wood many a time. We need those places in life to sit back, breathe and thank God for another moment of life. Its those moments that make life worthwhile to me.

So take this as an encouragement to go and find your still place. Or more than one, if you wish!

Explore.

Discover.

Be Still.

And Find Your Silent Wood.

Dearly Beloved…

“If the Son has set us free then we must be free indeed.” John 8:36

Life is a journey of odds and ends. Paths and Mountains. Highs and Lows. The seeking of truth, love and acceptance. In short, happiness.

We all make mistakes, we learn from them, try to move on and hope to forget the pain ever happened.

And so the pain remains ever still.

I tried to run from the pain of my past for the longest time. I tried to convince others that my depressive states was because ‘I just couldn’t forgive myself.’ When, in truth, that was my sorry excuse for holding on to the crutch that my guilt and shame was to me. I had this twisted enjoyment of being forever misunderstood and guilty. Even though I said I was forgiven by God, but not by myself.

In truth, I was letting my selfish pride and insecurities sever the connection with my Saviour. Causing my forgiveness to be a mere figment of my imagination. Was it available? Yes. Did I accept it fully? No. And it was my own fault I was living in this guilt.

I say all this to make one point: GOD FORGIVES US.. IF WE LET HIM.

It took almost two years and a certain advocate, for me to see it. And by the Grace of God I was able to understand that true freedom may not have been free at the cost, but is freely given to all who want and ask for it. And though we may never may fully forget all the memories and pain, we must remember the lessons of that time. Focus on the forward motion and not the swaying back into remorse. I am still learning and cannot wait to see the road that lies ahed.

So this blog I’m creating is very much a journey of arriving at the space thats in between insane and insecure. And that place is called something very special:

FREEDOM.

Lets start the journey shall we?