The Weight of Memories

Yesterday I sat on the hillside and watched the leaves fly off the trees.

I don’t think I have ever done that before. Each year the leaves are on the trees, looking stunning in their fall splendour, and then they are on the ground.

And it’s all over for another year.

But I have never made the time to actually witness this magnificent transformation.

And while I was being present for the trees and their leaves, I was thinking…

I was thinking about that quote – the one about: do you think the leaves worry about dying?

And I was thinking about the hill I was sitting on and the path I just walked down and how it’s all grown in because we don’t walk there anymore and how quickly the path disappears and doesn’t care that we are absent. And how quickly our own path will fill in when we are gone.

And I was thinking about my beautiful big boy, Bruno, whose path that really was …. and how he would pull everyone off the toboggan as we flew down that hill, and how every single day we walked up and down that hillside path with him, on the way to Grandma’s house …. and I had a little cry because I still miss him so so much.

And then I thought about growing old. And all the autumns I have photographed and how my own autumn is upon me and how quickly it came and how I don’t really want it, but here it is.

And then I wondered how anyone could be happy when they are old because there are just so many memories and so many losses and so many things that will never be again – and how heavy it can feel to carry all of that.

And how the choice to ‘not look back’ is not as simple as it seems.

Because it’s not about where I look, it’s about what I carry with me and what I have experienced, which is, in this moment, exactly who I am.

And now, when I try to shake free of all this heaviness, and look ahead, it’s really not so easy.

Because trying new things, making new memories, cultivating hope – it all requires an investment of energy, strength and effort that feels unavailable so much of the time.

Like trying to stand up after sitting on the ground, at the top of a hill, for a little bit too long.

But that’s okay, really it is.


Because as I managed to get my feet under me and dust off my pants, I realized how incredibly lucky I was to be there, on that day in that moment, bearing witness to a season in the dramatic midst of profound change and I remembered that life was never meant to be static and predictable.

Life is the constant and never ending story of change and that is all we ever know for sure.

And even though I carry the weight of that change with me now, I am still a part of this never ending cycle of rebirth.

I am still weightless enough to be the leaf flying off to a new, and unknown, adventure into the heart of the Great Mystery that is Life.

And for that I remain, ever so grateful.


Thank you for joining me, I am ever so grateful… 🙂

Posted by

Enjoying photography & blogging in my retirement.

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