I was walking outside and started smiling as I noticed that the leaves are changing colors. I love autumn, perhaps because it is because the season with my birthday (and a number of other bloggers as well!), and perhaps because I enjoy the weather when it is cool, but not yet too cold, but also because fall is a time of change. I always love to watch the trees and the leaves starting at the end of the summer, as they turn beautiful different colors, from green to yellow to red to brown. Some of my best times for reflection when I was younger were those rainy days after school had just started, when I would sit staring out of my window, watching the rain drops hit the puddles in the street, and watching the rushing water full of colorful leaves. The leaves turning colors is just one sign for me that the end of summer and beginning of fall is associated with change. The end of camp, the beginning of a new school year, transition from one part of life to the next.
Recently I was talking about some event that will be happening in June, which seems so far away right now, and the first thought that entered my mind was, “Wow, I sincerely hope that my life is significantly different in that point in time in every way.” This gut reaction shocked me and I wondered, “Am I that unhappy with my life that I want to change it so badly?” I mean, I know things aren’t perfect- you can always find something to complain about if you try, but until that moment I hadn’t realized how much I wanted things to change. But does that necessarily mean that I am not happy with how things are right now? Life changes all the time whether we like it or not, so wouldn’t it be best to welcome the change gladly instead of fighting it?
Sometimes it is difficult to find the right balance of being happy with the with the status quo, the way things are now, and yet at the same time longing for something even better, wanting things to be different. If everything was just great all the time, there would be no force moving us forward. The dream that things could be better is often was pushes us to spring to action and accomplish. The key is feeling both satisfied and unsatisfied at the same time; happy enough not to wallow in misery all day long, yet feeling as though something is lacking and striving to change the situation.
They say Shlomo HaMelech had a ring that said “Gam Zeh Yaavor.” This too will pass. That message is important to remember both when things are good and when they are not as good. When things are not so great, it is good to know that this time will pass and that things will get better. When things are going well, it is helpful to keep in mind that things will change eventually so we should take advantage and enjoy every minute of the good times we are in. To me, autumn is the essence of Gam Zeh Yaavor, of transition from one part of life to the next.