Holly Rosser Miller

Holly Rosser Miller

Fall is finally here for real, and it is a sight to behold. The whole landscape is changing color and you can feel the sting of cold when you breathe deeply. Fiery red, burnt orange and gold leaves cling to the trees as tightly as they can until finally a brisk wind releases them to the open air. It’s a beautiful process but one that leaves the host tree exposed for a season.

I’m kind of going through an autumn of my own right now and feel a bit like those trees. Have you ever felt like that? Vulnerable and exhausted from holding onto things or people or situations that turn you fiery red. Or those precious golden moments that seem fleeting but remind you of what life should be like.

I had one of those golden moments the other day. I was back in my room while Annie was playing the piano in the front of the house. I snuck into the living room to listen for a minute and I heard her play one of my favorite Chopin preludes. In that moment, my mind went back 11 years to the afternoon when I bought that piano. I remember Mike coming home from work and I said, “Hey, come look at this!” No one in this house plays the piano, Holly. “Not yet,” I told him.

Fast forward to now, and I realized I was having the privilege of seeing one of my grand plans come to pass right before my eyes — that Annie would be able to play classical music for me when I am an old woman. She’s a little early, but I’ll take it.

I had another golden moment last weekend. I annually meet up with eight of my girlfriends from college — we call ourselves “The Nine.” The name stuck a long time ago and so has the friendship. When we get together, we sit all weekend in our stretchy pants, eat snacks, and dive deep into what is going on in one another’s lives. Those friendships have been some of the biggest blessings of my adult life, and every year I come away feeling renewed and with a sense of clarity about a few things, especially those that turn me a fiery red.

The clarity for me this year: there is beauty in letting some things fall away for a season. Even if the ensuing wind is a little chilly, growth happens when you are exposed and vulnerable. The roots are what matter and keep you grounded during the winter in preparation for spring.

I don’t know what you might need to shake off right now, readers — but my hope is that it would lead to new growth, joy and better friendships.

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