The Long Sleep

After Summer’s lazy sun-kissed days have become shorter and her balmy nights cooler, Autumn slowly begins to rouse. Subtly she peers out from her deepest slumber; a gentle sigh escaping her mahogany lips causes the winds to blow and turn brisk.

It is time.

With a stunning grace, Autumn rises. She sways with a fiery passion while consumed with power. Autumn, for a small moment in time, grants us the glorious illusion that everything she touches becomes magnificently alive.

She walks with purpose, tenderly cupping each leaf watching them turn a kaleidoscope of colors, from hopeful greens to burnt oranges and sultry reds before she blows them a loving kiss and watches them drift softly to the mossy ground below. The cycle begins anew.

What an extraordinary challenge Autumn has, to be empowered with the gift to give the world one last glimpse of absolute beauty before that long sleep. To make nature come alive with such exquisite detail that artists struggle to capture the pristine awe of it all.


She takes pride in her fine work, shedding the old with love and lighting it up to behold one last time before it is replaced – again.

Autumn isn’t the bringer of death, for everything shall die. Autumn celebrates the life that was lived and shines her ethereal glow upon every last piece of nature that has given itself over to that cycle to begin again.

Autumn brings her dark nights and short days and after her show of fire and mist she leaves me and tucks me in. I dream of Autumn during that long sleep, her colors and her fire keep me whole. The maples in my yard and the wildlife feasting on the berries in my field bring me great pleasure. If I could stay wrapped in Autumn’s embrace and ethereal beauty I don’t think depression could ever touch me again, but Winter takes her place and he is vicious and hard. He is cruel and uncaring and lurks about in darkened corners while Autumn works her beautiful magic.

People say death brings about beauty, maybe so, but that isn’t my Autumn. My Autumn celebrates the life that nature gave us this past year, not the life it will cease to give us next year. Yes, those particular blooms, leaves, and life are done, they have given themselves to all of us, and we are grateful, but my Autumn celebrates that with a fiery display and puts the rest into that long and peaceful sleep where we pray that depression cannot touch us.

For when Old Man Winter makes his debut, he makes children smile and that makes me smile, but I miss my Autumn because Winter brings with it sadness.

I curl up with my books and look out of my frosty windows and wish for my burning Maples and fermented berries and I miss the white-tailed deer that visit my doorstep.

Depression for me ebbs and flows with the seasons and Autumn is my salvation with her fiery eyes and loving touch and promise that when she lights everything up to say goodnight she tucks it all in gently for Spring to kiss it good morning, and that gives me hope that depression will also fade away in the light of a single warm sunrise.

Photo Credit: Lex Kravetski Flickr via Compfight cc




Nicole Lyons

Nicole Lyons is a force of nature disguised as a writer, a social activist, a voice for the downtrodden, and a powerful poet with a delicate touch. She is a published author and poet featured in the books Feminine Collective’s RAW&UNFILTERED VOL I, Love Notes From Humanity; The Lust, Love, & Loss Collection, and Stigma Fighters Anthology Volume One. Her essays and poetry have also been featured in numerous literary collectives. Her debut book of poetry HUSH, published by FC Media will be released in April 2017.

Nicole was inducted into The Mental health Writer’s Guild in 2015 for her work on The Lithium Chronicles, Psych Central, The Mighty, and the International Bipolar Foundation.

She is a speaker and event coordinator with a Canadian nonprofit that focuses on suicide awareness and prevention in children and teens, and she lives a good life in beautiful British Columbia with her brilliant daughters and amazing husband. From a sunny porch beautiful British Columbia, Nicole is enjoying a glass of wine, and working on her second collection of poetry.

8 thoughts on “The Long Sleep

  1. Nicole LyonsNicole Lyons Reply

    Thank you all for your lovely comments.

    Renee, I am blown away by your comment, humbled and truly honoured, thank you so much.

    Steph, I am so happy to read this, and I do hope we can both try to see the beauty when depression tries to creep back in again.

    Theresa, your comment made my day, thank you.

    Jackie, thank you, Kindred.

    You ladies sure know how to make someone feel special. I am so pleased you have all enjoyed this piece.

    Love and light to you all

    N

  2. Stephanie OrtezStephanie Ortez Reply

    “With a stunning grace, Autumn rises. She sways with a fiery passion while consumed with power. Autumn, for a small moment in time, grants us the glorious illusion that everything she touches becomes magnificently alive.” This is beautiful Nicole, from now on I will embrace Autumn as a gift instead of allowing depression to take over.

  3. Theresa Redlinger Reply

    Wow! I don’t even need to step outside to see autumn … the colors of the falling leaves … you painted it perfectly right here. This is a beautiful piece and reminded me again why autumn is such a beautiful time of year.

  4. Jacqueline CioffaJacqueline Cioffa Reply

    “My Autumn celebrates the life that nature gave us this past year, not the life it will cease to give us next year. Yes, those particular blooms, leaves, and life are done, they have given themselves to all of us, and we are grateful, but my Autumn celebrates that with a fiery display and puts the rest into that long and peaceful sleep where we pray that depression cannot touch us.”

    I adore this piece, and the stunning descriptive prose. To your Autumn…

    X Jackie

  5. Renee DeMontRenee DeMont Reply

    Nicole, your essay took my breath away! I want to print it out, frame it, hang it on my wall for all to read. Autumn is my fav too. I’ve often felt the third season of burnt orange and red leaves a warm embrace before the chilling onslaught of chilling whites of winter. My depression dims in the natural glow of autumns kaleidoscope of warmth. Didn’t know how to put it into words though. Wow! You, my friend, have written an eloquent, stunning piece! Xo!!

  6. Nicole LyonsNicole Lyons Reply

    Thank you, Dori & Mary.
    The Long Sleep is one of my favourites. It was my first attempt at prose and I think I was really able to capture how a lot of us ebb and flow with this changing of the seasons.
    I do hope you feel better soon, Mary. Sending you loads of fiery healing. I’m happy to have made you smile.
    Dori, I could imagine. It’s chilly here, but Autumn is wide awake and gorgeous.

    N

  7. doriowendoriowen Reply

    I love this, Nicole. “gives me hope that depression will also fade away in the light of a single warm sunrise.” I feel renewed in autumn, as if I’ve just received my invitation to start anew. As you can imagine, in Arizona it’s also our sweet reward for enduring the long, long, LONG, hot summer. See you on Halloween! xoD.

  8. Mary Rowen Reply

    You made my day with this, Nicole. I’ve been sick with a bad cold and feeling gross, but this reflection makes me appreciate the beauty around me. Autumn is truly magnificent.

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