I was having one of those days when I was overwhelmed by all the things I had to do.
All the things I had to do, but didn’t particularly want to do.
I’d been up since about 4:30, trying to get a head start on things so I could go for a walk at sunrise at 7:30. But the obligations kept piling up and the phone kept ringing and soon it was 11. Clouds covered the sky but I was determined to get out of the house, to do the one thing I really wanted to do that day.
About ten minutes into my walk the soft patter of leaves falling to the ground was replaced by the more steady percussion of raindrops. The forest quieted down as the rain picked up and I was left staring at the sky and muttering to myself “Really? REALLY?!?”
There’s a point when your mood is so bad that being away from other humans is worth the price of getting soaked.
The paths quickly got slippery with wet leaves and I had to walk slowly. All shapes and sizes, leaves have been scattered like confetti around my corner of the world for the past several weeks.
So beautiful, and yet, also, well, so dead. They are the harbinger of the dormant season ahead. They reveal their true colors in the waning fall sunlight and then drop to ground, their purpose complete.
As I shuffled along, phone tucked under my sleeve to protect it from the wet, I thought about purpose. Do you have one? Because I don’t. I don’t know what I’m here to do, why it all matters, my unique gifts, any of it. In fact, in my more cynical moments, I tend to doubt that anyone does no matter how many books they may sell on the subject.
The leaf feeds the tree all summer, then shrivels up and dies. Simple. But humans? We manage to cram our lives full of many things that clearly don’t matter and the world keeps chugging… can we really be said to have a purpose?
Me, I go to work. I try to be a good daughter, sister, aunt, friend. I try my hardest. Sometimes it’s enough, and that’s a nice feeling. When it’s not, I have mornings like this: where the to-do list is never ending and none of it is ever enough.
I don’t know if I’ll ever figure out my purpose, or if such a thing even exists. But I do know that walking in the rain, with my tears joining the rain drops on my face, I felt more alive, present and whole than I had for days. I accomplished nothing, and would pay for it later by toiling away into the small hours.
But for that moment, I was alive. And it was enough.
All photos, taken by me with an iPhone.
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