Oh Autumn, you used to be my very favorite. Inviting me in to snuggle with books under blankets and hot tea in hand, putting your wild colors on display, and your wind whisping through my hair sometimes made me feel like a movie star. I craved your fresh start feeling and your new school supplies and was so so thankful that you made it ok to eat pumpkin and cinnamon and apples at every meal. I thought I would love and adore you all my days, truly. But, Autumn, we've suffered a break-up and I don't know that I ever even let you in on the fact.
Something slowly started to change as my children grew older, September wasn't just about the gorgeous temperatures or Harvest abundance, but became more about kissing summer's saltiness and sunshine goodbye. It meant welcoming a rhythm of routine and, maybe even more painful...responsibilities. There's never truly any vacation for mothers, but sipping an iced toddy every afternoon while the babes splashed in the pool sure felt nice, and even, dare I say...free?
I'm open to reconsidering our relationship, but Autumn, could you just please go out of your way to wow me this year? This girls needs some Fall glory something fierce if its ever going to be the same.
Love, Kristen (the one in New York, on the Upper West Side...near the park, so (ahem) extra folliage effort by the resevoir would be so appreciated)
All jesting aside, the reality is that my aversion to fall runs deep. As of late, it has been the harbinger of grief in my life. One of the reasons I haven't blogged much in a year is because when death is all that is happening in your life, you just question how much of it to share with readers who want to hear about homeschooling and the joys of raising a crew of kids. I wondered if the bitterness I was fighting fiercely would fade as my words hit the page, if joy would shine through, if truth would prevail, or if you would all see straight through to my heart- for real- and bitter would be what I passed on.
But this Autumn? Its business as usual. I could barely remember what that felt like until my husband whisked us away to the pumpkin patch last weekend. I drank it in. The beauty and memories and Apple Cider doughnuts? They redeemed as season I had begun to dread. Until the last few years, every October of my life has been about taking in fall colors: thermoses of cocoa packed, sweaters on, cameras ready and sweet oohs and ahhs from all of us. Its a steady force to celebrate the changing of seasons the same way time and time again throughout your childhood- and the passing on of the tradition? It makes it all the sweeter.
Maybe that's all it takes? Just jumping in again and committing to make a memory worth keeping together? To steal away with those we love and shout a giant "whoo-hoo!!" from our car windows as we let the road take us away? To welcome our children into the midst of a great adventure- even if the reward is simple? Oh that my heart would remember that its not always about where we travel, but the thing is just to...move.
So how will you cast an anchor to welcome Fall? What are some of your favorite traditions from your childhood that you want to pass on to your own babes?