As an introverted child who moved a lot, my summers tended to be solitary and spent with my nose in a book. I always looked forward to Fall when school would start. I loved shopping for school supplies and seeing my friends again. My life would start again every Fall.
In 1983, Fall was a bitter reminder that soon I’d be going through the first birthday and then death anniversary of my baby Mark. As the leaves fell, I was another day closer to the holidays when everyone was celebrating and I had nothing but a huge hole in my heart, a birthday without a cake.
By the time I finally had living children, Fall was just another season – nothing to whine about but nothing to celebrate either. As my little boys grew into school age, Fall saddened me again because it meant our lazy Summer days were coming to an end, and the crazy busyness of the school year was starting. I was one of those weird moms who loved Summers with the kids at home.
And then I lost one brother, followed by another . . . and both of them have late Fall birthdays (November 30 and December 8). Between November 30 and December 24, we have birthdays and death anniversaries for four beloved people. Fall meant that Winter was on the way and I haven’t gone through a January in several years without depression. Those long cold dark days where I’m stuck inside, unable to get out of my neighborhood because of ice and snow really bring me down. Fall signals the start of my annual emotional rollercoaster. UGH!
Throughout 2010, I’ve worked on changing my attitudes. I’ve been moving through an awakening that is incredible, and I need to change my rules and create new stories. I’ve always been one to find the gifts in every situation even though it might take me years to do that and it was time I did that with Fall instead of dreading it.
This year, I’ve noticed every color change, every crystal blue sky, and every bird hanging out in my yard stocking up on nuts. I’m not dwelling on what follows Fall; I’m thinking about how gorgeous it is right now. Today I walked around a lake a mile from home; I breathed in the fresh air and felt so alive – right there in that moment. I didn’t think about yesterday or tomorrow. I celebrated Fall right there at Virginia Lake, and I was grateful for such a glorious season that is so crispy colorful. I may be a Spring baby and a Spring lover, but no season is as rich as Fall. I will soak it in and let it soothe my heart through the upcoming Winter.
And yes, this may be the sappiest thing I’ve ever written. So what? It’s what I’m feeling. Take it or leave it. 🙂
What about you? What are you grateful for on this beautiful Friday?