The fall season is here. It arrived quietly, just a number on the calendar, a slight drop in temperature, a cloud cover now and then to remind us that rain will come, eventually. There is still time to soak up the sun, to hike the dry trails, put in some fall veggies. The harvest moon and eclipse await us.
The fall season is here, with classes starting up, regular club meetings, new TV series, and a more enhanced work mode on the job. Most everybody is back from vacation and new projects can get going again. Summer vacations are turning into memories, harvested like the winter squash, apples, pears and Italian plums. I don’t know about yours, but my schedule is filling up rapidly for the next two months. Not a slow slide into winter on my calendar.
We are an ambitious bunch in this country. Generally we don’t take long vacations, and to get to the top we are willing to work way more than a 40 hour week. Even in our retirements we work, stacking up the projects we now can get around to, attending all the meetings we never were able to go to, seeing all the places we never had time to see. What is it with this ambition? Does it make us happier people?
My young nephew, recently transplanted from Holland to study and play high level sport in the States, summed it up in an interview on Dutch television, “In Holland second place is considered good, in America there is no second place, you either win or lose.” To him it is a live or die proposition. Sometimes I think this live or die notion is pervasive in our society. We adore the intensity of the top, the exceptional, we crave perpetual youth. To be ordinary, to be average does not have the adrenaline, the excitement we crave, to feel alive. Ambition is about adrenaline, is about winning. Ambition is the summer season of living, with lots of light, sun and energy. Are we afraid of the slow decay of fall, the decline toward winter?
Seasons can remind us of the natural cycle, OUR natural cycle. Are you letting the slowing down of natural forces affect your life, or are you gearing up to fill the shorter days and longer evenings to the brim? What is your aliveness all about?
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