It’s been eleven years.
Many of our coworkers gathered in the board reception room to wish us farewell. I had been there a decade, and Vicki had spent her entire career there. It seemed surreal that we were leaving a fortune 200 company. We loved our positions; but the company was unstable, spiraling downward. We had opportunities elsewhere. Surely this would be my last career change. Deanna handed us both a box with identical gifts inside and commented, “This is just a little something for you to remember it was in the fall of the year, as the leaves change, that your life changed – a new beginning.”
I hadn’t worn it for a few years, not since I donated the brown suede jumper. The brooch pinned perfectly on the left just underneath the shoulder seam of the jumper – three leaves draped over one another: brown, gold, and autumn orange. I wondered if I could find it and then wondered if there was something in my closet I could accent with this brooch. I needed to wear this; I needed to remember. Here we go again – change – and it just happens to be the same time of year another decade later.
I don’t know why I get weepy this time of year, a little uneasy. I love the change of seasons, love the crisp weather and beautiful fall colors. But it seems many of life’s changes have come in the fall for me. Change is an opportunity and can be exciting but also pushes me out of my comfort zone. Anxiety waits at my door. Making apple butter calms me. I don’t know if it’s the all-consuming attention required, manual labor process, or just feeling the reward of completing a task the way my grandmother did. But this year is too busy for that therapy. I couldn’t even find time to travel to an orchard to buy the apples. Instead I’m purging files and preparing for yet another change.
I looked through every drawer in my jewelry armoire and then finally found it in a small plastic Ziploc bag with a couple of other old pins. As I placed it on the left side of my sweater, I remembered what my coworker and friend said all those years ago.
I headed to the office for another day of winding down for change. On the way home, I stopped at a stoplight and wept. The words in the song touched a chord.
But seasons pass and I discover
Above all this there’s another
Helping me to hold on to what is timeless …
Seasons indeed passed for another decade – life’s highs and lows, smiles and sorrows. I will remember the smiles. And as the leaves are changing again, I am confident that it will be okay.