12" x 10"
Mixed Media on Canvas
It snowed for the first time this year on Friday night. Nothing heavy, just that light sprinkle of dust that you sometimes get. There are still a few fading leaves clinging stubbornly to branches that have all but gone to sleep. More a memory of life than anything else. My body isn't used to the cold yet, and I find myself walking hunched over, hands digging deep into jacket pockets in weather that will have me smiling with arms open wide come Spring. Why do we call it Autumn, and also Fall? We don't call summer Pride, nor spring: Blessings. And I've never heard anyone refer to winter as Penitence.
Perhaps it's because while we dread it, this time of year is also the most beautiful. In these cool days and chill evenings, we remember. I never understood what wistful meant. I'd never known bittersweet as a child. I'm beginning to settle into what it means to be a man, and I find that a necessary part of it is regret.
People say: never have regrets. I disagree.
I regret many things. A word unspoken...or one spoken to soon, or too harshly. I regret sunsets ignored, or sunrises missed because of nights too late, or excesses too great. A short temper when a moment of love is what was needed. I've let too many friends fall into memory, and not been open to many more. Dancing in a crystal piece of time is that young woman I saw from across a grocery store aisle that I never had the courage to speak to. A young man's life can leave hearts in disarray like the scattering of dry leaves in a wind, and now that I am cooling down, I can look back and see what I have left in my wake.
And not all of it is bad. Some of it is more wonderful than mere words can tell.
But what a lie I would tell myself, if I were to say I had no regrets. What a disservice to the souls who populate my recollections if I were not to acknowledge where I have fallen short.
How else do I expect to learn? Whence then, softness? Here lay lessons in patience, forgiveness...a cool mind and a soft voice. Without my regrets, how would I know gentleness?
I once thought I knew it all. I really did.
Now I know just about enough to get by.
The first snow fell last night, and it was gone by morning.