Since as long as I can remember, I have experienced a deep sense of ache as August turns toward September. The feeling unfailingly arrives, landing in my heart each year as surely as the leaves will change. Sadness has never felt like the proper descriptor, as it misses the sweetness in the feeling, yet words that are too bright seem to fall short of capturing the heartache. 

More recently, I find myself with a greater friendliness toward my now familiar August ache with due credit to the simple question, “how much of the flower do you see if you forget that it dies?” 

August is a poignant reminder of the transiency of life. August teaches me that my capacity to feel the heartache of impermanence is my very same capacity to appreciate and love life deeply. 

In Western culture we receive messaging that we can reach for happiness through external means, which tends to turn us away from the richness of our internal human experience. But when we are brave enough to move into what resides within us, we find an unrelenting potential there to exist more fully in our lives. When I live within all of the sweetness and ache in my heart, I am in love with the flowers that will die and with the warm light of an August sunset turning forgivingly toward cool September mornings.   

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