October Glory

Fred Cavaiani

October has arrived in its multi-colored splendor. Red, yellow, brown and orange leaves immerse us in a kaleidoscope of beauty. The decoration of homes and yards manifest the theme of Fall Harvest and October warmth and Halloween anticipation. In some ways, October for those of us in the northern part of the US, can be the most beautiful month of the year. Football and homecoming parties create in our adolescents a jubilant anxiety. For parents, a worried but pleasant concern that parties stay joyful and safe events. This is really the month of glow for so many. October is a month of Glory.

October is also the month of transitions. Summer is now really finished and we can see that we have transitioned into autumn. Students are realizing more clearly that they have transitioned into another year of learning. The 6th grader is now in middle school. The 9th grader must accept that this is high school. The freshman in college must face this transition into higher education and often living away from home. October for so many people becomes an acute realization of the transitions in our lives.

If nature could fight the transition from summer into fall there would be no October Glory. If we fight facing the pain of the transitions in our lives, we find no glory. When necessary transitions are resisted be it physically, emotionally or spiritually, tension and misery become the result.

On Saturday morning I was watching our 6-year-old granddaughter play soccer. At this age it is elementary soccer where the idea of competition is not as prevalent as the idea of playing the game, having fun and learning. The rule of the league is to practice for a half hour and then play soccer for a half hour. The parents of the other team, particularly one older gentleman became angry and upset because they were not playing soccer right away. He got up and yelled at the very kind and gentile coach of my grandaughters team. He couldn’t face this transition of how the kids play today. He acted as if they were here for a World Championship Soccer Match. His temple was throbbing, he was loud and abusive and acted like a very miserable man. He could not accept reality. He wanted them to play soccer right away. After a few of us treated his anger with a high degree of gentleness and a sweet reminder of the effect he was having on the children, he calmed down. All of his inappropriate behavior resulted because he could not embrace this transition — first a half hour of practice, then a half hour of playing soccer.

Transitions in life can be hard to embrace. Yet transitions are always with us — every day and every hour. Transitions are the reality of life at each moment which must be embraced and accepted. Once we embrace and accept the transition of the moment, the wisdom of how to deal with the transition will come to us. Where I live in Rochester, Michigan, we have a lot of construction happening. Roads are backed up with cars every day. It seems like the Road Authorities have decided to repair roads and bridges and the downtown area all at the same time and in many different places. It has made life difficult for people living in and around Rochester. This is quite a transition for all of us. Many times I want to scream with frustration for having to take so many detours or be held up in slow moving traffic for such a long time. Gradually I started accepting the reality of this transition. Lo and behold, once I accepted the reality I discovered many other roads to take that I hadn’t considered before. My tension left me and the journey to work and home became much easier. When I stayed angry and frustrated I was blocked from looking at the alternatives.

All of life is a transition. No one lives on this earth forever. Nothing remains the same forever. When I realize and accept this, my mind and heart can open up to the wisdom of the present moment. In this wisdom of the now I can be free to embrace whatever comes next in my life.

October Glory happens because nature accepts change and transition. Personal Glory can happen to each of us when we accept the present transition and change of this moment. I can become free when I am not resisting what has to happen. It is in this moment, accepting transition that I become open to the wisdom, love and guidance of the Source of all Transition. Then life truly becomes a Journey into the Divine. Freedom and Peace are the result. Fear of the last Transition of Life begins to leave us. Life can now be truly lived with total fullness. We can face whatever comes our way without worrying what might come our way. Wisdom, Love and Fullness of Life begin when I stop fighting whatever transition is upon me. In this Wisdom, Love and Fullness of Life I discover that the best is always yet to come. Slowly it becomes clearer. There will be a final transition to an October Glory that will never end.

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Fred Cavaiani is a licensed marriage and family therapist and psychologist with a private practice in Troy. He is the founder of Marriage Growth Center, a consultant for the Detroit Medical Center, and Henry Ford Medical Center. He conducts numerous programs for groups throughout Southeastern Michigan. His column in the Legal News runs every other Tuesday. He can be reached at (248)362-3340. His e-mail address is Fredcavi@yahoo.com and his website is fredthecounselor.com.

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