I entered into this fall season dragging my feet. In a sense, I willfully filled the soles of my shoes with lead and resisted the change with a great fit of wasted energy.
Even with all my struggling, the sun's face shied away. I lost my early morning running routine, late evening opportunities for dinner outside in a sun dress, and the satisfaction of a chilled glass of white wine. It had been a peaceful, enjoyable summer, and I did not want to let it go.
I am ashamed to admit that it took me until November to recognize my full resistance. It took this long to release my grudges against 7 a.m. darkness and limited access to fresh flowers. It took being startled by the season's own unique beauty to realize the blindness I had been living in.
In my longing, I had ignored the transitions and gifts of September and October, and all of a sudden, November was here. It came with a strong, striking posture and commanded attention through explosions of color. Even though half the trees had unburdened themselves of brittle leaves by the time my eyes chose to see, there were still mosaics of yellow, brown, pink, and orange across the sidewalks my feet cross daily, and some of the most brilliantly yellow and red trees are holding on. (My favorite scene is bright coral pink leaves reaching up toward a grey sky. I could live in this color combination.)
The season had to change, and just as fall is threatening to call itself winter, I am opening up my palms and willingly receiving. I don't run as much as I did during the summer, but I walk to and from work everyday, and those half hour segments of time in which I simply cannot hurry along slow me down and force me to reflect, think, articulate, and observe.
I'm finding winter ales to an excellent replacement for those glasses of white wine. I don't get as many evening dinners with my roommates, but our household gatherings are all the more precious when they spontaneously come about.
Little by little, I am seeing why I don't want to be anywhere but in this season right now. Some moments, the contentment is pure enough to nestle in -- the enjoyment of one day helping me look forward to tomorrow without wishing myself there too quickly.
So, winter, I anticipate your mittens and mulled wine and snowy pine branches. These are going to be lovely when they arrive, but I'll count and file away each mental and photographic image of autumn until the day to say goodbye comes. I intend to make it swifter, more gratitude-filled, and less selfish than the last transition. Until then, who's up for pumpkin pie?