“Summer ends, and Autumn comes, and he who would have it otherwise would have high tide always and a full moon every night; and thus he would never know the rhythms that are at the heart of life”
So I’ve been feeling nostalgic lately. Autumn, while always my favorite time of year, tends to bring out this emotion in me. Of course, it’s never too far from the surface, anyway. It just seems that the shifting of seasons from the warmth and vibrancy of summer to the cooler evenings and richer colors and textures of fall add an accent note to it all.
Life is incredibly busy at my house. Between my husband’s and my full-time jobs (outside of usual office hours, his requires a bit of travel, mine requires lots of planning and paperwork), our two teenagers with their schedules, homework, sports, or emotional upheavals of various life stages, visiting my widowed mother-in-law in the Alzheimer’s facility a half hour away, or talking on the phone with (and trying to see more frequently) my own widowed mother, the minutes, hours, and days seem to rush by. And then there’s my writing. It’s an integral part of who I am, and so I need to take the time to put some words on the page every day.
Lately, I’ve been trying to consciously slow down. To notice world around me (even if it’s outside my back door or on the drive to my school district!) I’m also fortunate to live and work in an area not too unlike the place I grew up, with plentiful fields, and trees, and woodlands, wildlife and bodies of water that are easily accessible.
There is so much beauty around me, and I’ve resolved not to let the days slip by without taking a few minutes, some deep breaths, and undertaking an effort to cultivate deliberate attentiveness to see it and appreciate it. Nature and I have always had a special connection (well, I’ve had one to her…not sure how she feels about me, LOL). If I’m away from Nature for too long, I feel the absence at an elemental level.
I hear many around me who say they enjoy the colors and activities of autumn, yet they feel a sense of dread and a little bit of darkness creeping into their outlook at the same time, since autumn is the precursor to winter (which around here can indeed be brutal in temperatures and snowfall amounts). But I can’t agree with that philosophy. There is something to be said about appreciating the moments of every season, whether it be in the midst of summer’s white-hot glory, winter’s icy beauty, spring’s fresh verdancy or autumn’s golden bounty. As Mr. Borland noted, they comprise the “rhythms that are at the heart of life.”