I’m scared, terrified of these feelings falling like autumn leaves at random beyond my control – littering conversations, disturbing sleep, ruining peaceful meditations. They remind me of a season fourteen years ago when a beautiful baby girl was born, when a mother went underground to follow the roots of her family tree.
So much doubt. So many judgements. What’s wrong with you, Kaveri. Why can’t you get your shit together? Are we really back here after thirteen years of practice? Haven’t we progressed, even a little?
Perimenopause. Unpredictable periods. Emotional storms. Is the external weather trying to taunt me, or mirror my internal state with compassion and wisdom? I’m different now. Not better. Not worse. Just different.
The autumn leaves are not dirty or unwelcome. Yes, they are dying. They aren’t the same as shiny spring leaves green with new life, abundant with chlorophyllic possibility. Still, they are wise messengers decomposing into earth to fertilize the underground roots of this family tree.
When I pushed forward, I was whirled about. When I stayed in place, I sank. And so I crossed over the flood without pushing forward, without staying in place. (SN 1.1 Ogha-tarana Sutta: Crossing over the Flood)
Fourteen years ago when I pushed forward, I was whirled about. When I tried to cross the flood of emotions without acknowledgment, the resistance reinforced their presence. Please listen to us. Stop pushing forward, pushing us away. We want you to know something.
When I stayed in place, I sank, believing the emotions without understanding the need beneath them. I blamed others for their insensitivity and misunderstanding. I judged myself for being one depressed and anxious mess.
And so I cross through the flood by bowing to the emotions, listening to the sensations in my body and kind whispers in my ear. Thank you for listening with honesty, compassion, patience, and trust, for recognizing the creative growth potential in us, for honoring the season’s rhythm of change.
And so I cross through the flood without staying in place, understanding the need for embodied loving presence and connection to myself for wise and loving connection with others.
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come , come. (Rumi)
I have broken my vows a thousand times. I have judged and harmed in ways that seem unforgivable. As a wanderer, worshiper, and lover of leaving this moment because the past still haunts me and the future is unpredictable, it doesn’t matter.
This heart-mind is no longer a caravan of despair. I will come, even if I have broken my vows a thousand times. Perimenopause is not punishment for the past or the promise of a perilous future. It’s a chance in this very moment to begin again.
Come, yet again, come, come.