Signs of Life

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By Lucy Winn Fuller

There is a chill in the wind today. It’s not cold enough for me to put on shoes. I never wear shoes. They aren’t really needed for porch sitting, anyway. I pulled an all-nighter with my 12 month old, so I am enjoying my hot cup of coffee on the porch while Jody takes the girls to pick up lunch. I’m so thankful for his heart. He knows when I need a break, and I don’t even have to ask.
It’s quiet out here. Quiet is subjective in the country, though. We all have our definition of quiet. To some it means no sounds. To me it means no planes, no trains, and no automobiles. In my world, quiet is the wind rustling the remaining leaves that are holding onto the branches of the woodland trees. I can close my eyes and hear the crow cawing in 4/4 time, the faint sound of a cow mooing in the distance, the occasional song of one of the windchimes on our porch, and the creaking of the chain that holds my porch swing as I let the wind carry it ever which way it decides to go. That’s my kind of quiet. I like to think that I have earned this quiet after living through so much noise in my crazy life.
Some associate quiet with stillness. Not me. Stillness means no movement and no movement means no life. I love the signs and sounds of life. As mother nature breathes and blows her chilly fall air upon us, nature moves with her every breath. I see it in the falling leaves, the swaying pines, and the fluid motion of the flag that adorns our dear country home.
I love this time of year. Autumn. A season of change. Nature prepares for its long awaited winter’s sleep. The earth quiets down and readies herself for rebirth in the spring. The days get shorter and the nights get longer. With death comes life. It all comes full circle. The year wanes and comes to an end. As the moon goes through its different phases, so do we. We transition into the next season of life.
The more I think about it, the more beautiful it becomes. Seasons of death and rebirth are tragically beautiful. Natures love story. We rarely devote time to focusing on each season with closeness due to our own life phases. Sometimes we find ourselves just getting by and trying to make it through instead of focusing on the beauty of death and rebirth.
With every leaf that makes its final journey to the earth’s floor, I am reminded that my daily worries and problems can be just as easily felled. I close my eyes and breathe in deep. I sit so still and silently that I can feel my heart beat in my chest. Bump bum, bump bum, bump bum. Perfect rhythm. I hear the crow again. Caw caw, caw caw, caw caw. Then the whish of the wind joins my heart and the singing crow. The wind chimes ding faintly, and I catch myself swinging in perfect time to this orchestra that has formed around me.
Soon, the trees will be bare. The air will smell of rotting leaves and everything will be silent and still. The land sleeps and dreams of springtime as we hang our stockings on the hearth and string lights on our Christmas tree. It’s a lonely season. The noises fall silent, and the world seems so still. Sometimes the silence seems so loud. I find myself slowly falling into eternal sleep, just like the leaves on the cold ground. I close my eyes and listen for the life inside of me. I listen for the rhythm.
Bump bum, bump bum, bump bum.
My heart continues to beat in perfect time and I am reminded that as the earth prepares for its rebirth in the spring, I also am renewing myself for rebirth into the next phase of life. I am struck by the cruel realization that time doesn’t stand still for anyone. I then smile because I know that I have a fresh new year ahead of me. A new year to fill with memories. More thoughts to share. More kisses to steal. More hugs to give. More life to live.
I smile because there is more life to live. The wind blows yet again and wraps its chilly arms around me. I look up and stare at the blue sky and close my eyes. I breathe in again and again. I am so thankful for Mother Nature’s gentle reminder that life goes on. I lay dormant now only to prepare for rebirth, and my heart blooms with gratitude.
I have so much to be thankful for.
Lucy Fuller is a lover of nature, animals, gardening, and old houses. She is a full time mother and wife. She currently resides in Dadeville with her husband, two daughters, 4 dogs, and cat. She may be reached at fullalove2017@gmail.com.

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