Every year, I resist the change of season.
It is now late October and I stare at the leaves clinging to the most stubborn of branches. I study the colors and let them saturate my soul; will them to endure. Some trees have lost all their leaves and still stand firm, mocking me as if they sense my intimidation about the weather to come. And the regrets of not doing everything I could to seize the days that were pleasant and are now lost. Carpe diem applies no matter the season, the trees whisper.
Fall ushers in chilling winds.
I love to hear the wind wander through the tree tops and knock the wind chimes into a frenzy. But, even when the weather is ‘nice’, my senses rebel when fully exposed to the wind. Irritated ears; hair blown out of control; invisible fingers brush against me and sometimes push. Is it trying to manipulate me? Antagonize? With fall, the wind chills and can reach the bone. Not exactly pleasant in my book.
Without wind, how would we know stillness? Why not resign myself to it or be playful with it? I should welcome its unpredictability as I hope others will my hormonal moodiness.
A touch of gloom + loss of control.
Fall tugs at me as if it requires me to change along with it. Transporting me against my will. I protest—please slow down!
I feel myself grasping at time as the branches cling to the last remaining leaves (or are the leaves clinging to the branches?). I wonder: If the branches could, would they reach out and catch the leaves and hold onto them until they’re all dried up? Do they become as impatient as I do during the winter time, willing new, green leaves to sprout?
Regardless, the time is out of my reach and flies on its own. A new school year with rushed mornings and forced structure. An end-of-October wedding anniversary—will my husband make it special or is it up to me? The end of the farmer’s market and the broken promise to myself to visit a new one each week. Then comes a gust and I’m lifted by Halloween—my favorite holiday when even I eat candy corn (I know it’s laden with corn syrup and, for that day, it doesn’t matter). My son chooses yet another black-caped skeletal costume-of-impending-death and I long for the days he’d allow me to make him an adorable lion or bumble bee or a home constructed Bob the Builder—costumes of my choice.
Sugar crash. Two days later my birthday whacks me over the head reminding me once again that time just marches on. Days slip away faster than I can comprehend. My forehead furrows—no, I’m downright angry—at retailers blasting Christmas earlier every year. The actual onslaught of holidays arrive with the same unrealistic expectations that I attempt to bury and not… expect. My son and husband taunt me by playing Christmas music before Thanksgiving, belly laughing when I beg them to turn it off. “No Christmas music until December!” I plead as my hands desperately cover my ears. The end of December is the crescendo that then lingers with relentless post holiday sensory pollution—red “big sale” signs everywhere; radio and TV ads trying to seduce me, of all people—shopping hater—to shop shop shop; people rushing around from strip mall to strip mall in their snow dusted vehicles and failing to use their indicator as they notice a bigger, more tempting sale sign and veer across two lanes.
Then all is quiet, windy, snowy, blustery. The inevitable hibernation takes over. Is it inevitable simply because I expect it to be?
I worry about all the animals in the cold and wonder how they survive. I become grateful to be warm inside.
Fall is a time to let go of things you may have felt attached to.
Ideas that have worn old. Friends who don’t work anymore. It’s a time to reflect on where you’ve been then let go of the negative, let them drop by your feet. Then walk away. Or run.
I breathe in right now. Tell myself to grab the moment and stop contemplating my fate of indoor servitude. Let go and accept that no matter what I do, I cannot stop the forces of time. Fall is here. Winter is next. There’s nothing I can do. Time stops for no one. I need to let myself fall into each day that arrives with acceptance and courage.
Photos of woman by Katarina Silva.
Originally published on my blog, Putting It Out There.