Having my first walk in the woods with the dogs in almost three weeks, there are noticeable changes. Gold gone tone deaf brown,
and conifer green with sunlit yellow bursts now reserved for the low lying beech trees that define a perceptible middle ground.
There are broad stretches of wheat colored growth, dying while at the same time holding firm ground.
There is the iridescent flaming red that connects and ignites the middle ground of the landscape.
I revel in this middle ground. I find comfort in the enclosure of life and color so close that it caresses. It’s hard to ignore. It’s easy to accept the change from all inclusive vastness of tree and sky that so recently encircled and invited, to the starkness of bare gray branch getting lost in blue white grayness above.
I settle back into a middle way, between fight and flight, into acceptance. Finally giving the adrenals a rest from battling fatigue, worry and denial.
Contemplating the middle way is probably about as old as time. As I walk, I realize how easy it is to settle into acceptance. It doesn’t mean I have to let go of a vision or give up. It doesn’t mean I have failed. I want the best for my parents who need our support right now. But it doesn’t mean I can fix anything or actually change the outcome. I can help. I can provide some measure of comfort. Hopefully with kindness. It is as a wise friend recently told me, “The best we can do is simply walk beside them and hold the space for their journey.” Well, isn’t that the truth. For everything. For every relationship and every encounter and every experience that we are lucky enough to have in life. The middle ground is acceptance of another’s journey, offering the respect to let it be, and recognize where I can take responsibility for my own journey at the same time.
Walking now in the beauty I call home, I revel in the good feeling that acceptance can be.