Growth Cycles: The Breakdown Comes Before the Breakthrough

Growth Cycles: The Breakdown Comes Before the Breakthrough September 21, 2010

I don’t know if there is a name for this in-between time.

The summer is clearly over, but autumn hasn’t quite taken hold yet. Here in Eastern Pennsylvania, the leaves have just started to turn withering shades of reds and yellows. The tilt of the earth has tipped over a couple notches in the last couple of weeks, so that the sunlight hits you at a noticeably different slant.

I can tell, things are starting to die. I can feel it in my soul.

As I stepped into the garage this morning on my way to work, some kind of ominous despair rose up and gripped me by the throat, just as I was getting into the car. I froze for a moment and stared the thing down. Then I swallowed it hard, and got on with my day.  

Where did that come from?

Maybe this unease has to do with my daughter, who has gone off to her first year of college. I am worried about her. Or maybe it’s an aftershock from the trauma of turning fifty a few months ago. The loss of my youth, and all that. There are also some big changes going on at work. We are in the midst of an enormous organizational transformation, which is just a fancy way to say that we’re messing around with how we do things. What used to work isn’t working so well anymore, so we’re making changes. It’s complicated. And a little chaotic.

That morose shadow in the garage may have been a creeping acknowledgement of what’s dying.  One thing is ending, and the other hasn’t yet begun.

I’m in-between. 

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Photo by Jahina. Used with permission.

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