I love the Fall season. Leaves crackling underfoot, the familiar smell of autumn in the air. Even during a warm spell, there is a something in the air reminding you that this is only temporary. This is my first fall in the Midwest in 5 years, having been trapped in the Pacific Northwest with no seasons. The climate is very temperate and that in itself is nice. But because of our proximity to the ocean and the mountains, it is very rainy and gloomy most of the year. You can count on some nice weather between 4th of July and Labor Day.
But I digress. Today I find myself sitting on a park bench outside Rochester Methodist Hospital, in the Mayo complex, with my Corgi dog Waylon. It is a glorious day to be alive. The lunchtime aromas are wafting through the air. It is an October-fest type atmosphere. All of a sudden I realize that 28 years ago this very day, Sam proposed to me. Neither of us knew then we would be challenged by so many health issues later in our lives.
Just as there are seasons of the year, I believe there are seasons to our life. I am thinking this is the autumn of my life. I thought 50 as great fun, but somehow when I turned 60 there was a pall of my own mortality, sneaking up on me without warning, “this is a friendly reminder that you are not going to live forever.” Kind of like the civil defense warnings we get the first Tuesday of every month. “This is a test, had it been an actual alert, blah blah blah”. I welcome the change in weather, the change in my life, not so much.
Getting off track again…Here in the October noon-time sun, there is a breeze blowing the fallen leaves over my Birkenstock clad feet, as I watch the comings and goings of this medical community. I love coming up here. It feels like home. We are all here for the same reason. World class medical care. There is much diversity, yet a camaraderie here that is palpable among all. It gives me a feeling that I am being enfolded in the loving arms of this great place founded by the Brothers Mayo, and a feeling that everything will be okay and even if it turns out not to be, a solace knowing you did all you could.
We have experienced Spring, Summer and Fall here in this Southwest Minnesotan city and are hoping that when we come back in the Winter, Sam will be cancer free. Time has slowed here, giving me time to sort my thoughts and taste life as it has been given to me. There is much to appreciate and yet so much to question. I try not to look back, only forward, and make each day the best it can be.