Sunday, November 16, 2008

Fall in Oregon

Fall in Oregon is a most wonderous time. Especially when the sky is clear and the air is brisk. We Oregonians are the first to deny the rain as being depressing. "Oh, it clears the pollution from the air," we say. Or "I love the rain." But the fact of the matter is the constant gray gets dreary and that is why these beautiful clear fall days are so precious.

Even after a few days of know, that rain that clears the is amazing how the sun and blue sky can brighten your attitude. I love it. The leaves even get crunchy again, so when you shuffle along kicking them up, they make it sound like you're walking on corn flakes. That always makes me smile. The air seems fresher. Mt. Hood looms larger. The leaves on the trees of the West Hills are sharper. And the colors - orange, red, yellow, purple, brown, tan - all of those wonderful colors on the red end of the spectrum are simply spectacular.

Fall isn't the beginning of the death of summer, it is the beginning of the rebirth that eventually takes place in Spring.

I watched a neighbor as he raked and bagged leaves and commented to him that it's the beauty and the ugly of Fall. The beauty of the colors of the leaves and the ugly that we have to go to such efforts to pick up after Fall. Too bad the leaves don't just stay in the trees for us to enjoy. A silly idea but one to consider as we rake and bag and fill our yard debris containers.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Dark Places

When I was a child I was afraid of the dark. Not the quaking afraid to play outside kind of afraid of the dark but the "when the lights went out in the basement I needed to run up the stairs or the wolves would get me" kind of afraid of the dark. I would also pull the covers over my head and have a hole just big enough to see through and to let in a bit of cool air. I imagined, like most kids that age, things that would go bump in the dark, come out of closets and eat you.

Today that fear of the dark is long gone. I pride myself on my ability to navigate my house in total darkness without stubbing a toe or breaking my nose on a wall. Instead of the physical darkness, I would say my fears today are the dark places my mind can go. We all have issues that conjure negative thoughts and can make us feel insecure or paranoid.

Recently, I have experienced that dark place in my head too many times. My dark place has been triggered by trust issues and put me in a position where I am pushing away those I love instead of embracing, trusting and loving the way a good father and husband would do. There is much work to be done here and it starts with my ability to speak up and express my insecurity instead of letting it overtake me.

I am very fortunate to have people who care about me and are willing to work with me through my issues. Sometimes I don't feel very deserving, but once again that is my head going to dark places. I need to live in the moment, count my blessings and seek that which makes me happy as opposed to that which makes me want to end my ride on this revolving ball of mud and water.

Buddha says: All that we are is a result of what we have thought. This I need to carry with me going forward in order to bring light to the dark and escape forever the doubt, insecurity and paranoia dark places can bring.