Last night, after tucking my three toddlers into bed, I headed outside for a night time jump.
Since purchasing the trampoline this past Christmas, my four-year-old has made a habit of sneaking downstairs and begging mommy or daddy to take him outside for a night time jump. I rarely decline the invitation, as the starry sky holds some of our most precious memories.
I was secretly hoping to hear his door slide open last night but 20 minutes passed with no sign of a sneaking toddler.
So, I decided to take myself out for a peaceful jump.
The crisp air greeted my cheeks as I climbed onto the trampoline. I stood up but instead of watching my feet leave the mesh floor as I bounced into the air, I looked up. My eyes met the stars and my gaze instantly locked on the twinkling sky.
Instead of jumping, I fell backwards.
I felt the air separate beneath me as my body cut swiftly through. The slight spring of the mesh flooring gave enough to create a soft landing. I let myself sink in while still staring up at the sky.
The busyness of my chaotic life faded into the background. For the first time in a while I felt myself stop. The constant noise inside my head, which usually played on repeat, was paused. The overwhelming heaviness of a never ending to-do list vanished.
My head was silent. I was still.
A cool breeze swept through the yard and blew a leaf onto my face. I could smell the sweet scent of fall just over the horizon. It was quickly approaching.
I thought of last fall.
A fleeting memory tucked behind a pumpkin spiced haze was all that came to mind. Fall, my favorite season, seemed to be gone before I could breathe it all in. I wondered,
“Why does fall always fly by so fast?”
As I woke this morning, greeting the day with a pumpkin spice latte in one hand and a to-do list in another, I realized it’s not just fall that is flying by. It’s life.
The three months preceding Thanksgiving and Christmas certainly seem to be on overdrive as I scurry to prepare for the holidays, but life itself is becoming a blur.
The busyness is painting a cloudy haze over my once vivid memories. Rushing through life is keeping me from living it.
So, this fall, instead of looking ahead to what might never come, I’m falling back. I’m pushing the pause button. I’m slowing down. Way down. I’m breathing in the crisp pumpkin and apple spiced air. I’m standing still.
And, I’m letting go.
I’m letting go of the past and falling into the moment. I’m quieting the critics in my head that whisper, “you should have done more,” and falling into the knowledge that I did enough.
I’m letting go of the mistakes I made yesterday—the angry outburst toward my husband and the ugly bedtime battle with my kids.
I’m letting go of the guilty hangover that follows and falling into the beautiful gifts of grace, humility and forgiveness that arise out of my imperfections.
I’m letting go of the future and feeling my feet planted firmly beneath me. I’m throwing away the picture my mind painted of how life was supposed to be and falling in love with how my life is.
I’m letting go of what I think I want and learning to appreciate what I have.
I’m letting go of my illness, of my yet to be determined autoimmune disease, and falling into deep acceptance, knowing that my physical limitations don’t change who I am.
I’m letting go of the need to have a name, a cause and a cure for my condition and learning to trust the process, believing that more will be revealed when the time is right.
I’m letting go of trying to will the pain away and falling into gratitude for the lessons I am learning through the pain.
I’m letting go of the uncertainty of my career path and falling into awe of the passions that have developed because of unexpected circumstances. I’m breaking free of the box I locked myself into and welcoming the array of possibilities that live in the space surrounding the box.
I’m letting go of expectations and falling into experiencing.
I’m giving up the prep and planning that accompany the holidays and taking time to feel the joy that exists beneath the hustle and the bustle. I’m trading in the shopping and the gift wrapping for moments of connection with my three precious boys.
I’m letting go of the agendas and to-do lists and embracing the magic that lives in the heart of those boys.
This fall, I’m falling back into a pile of leaves. I’m losing myself in a corn maze. I’m smashing a pumpkin. I’m dancing in the rain.
This fall, I’m learning to live again. Really live. I’m painting over the cloudy haze. I’m adding detail to my memories.
This fall, I’m pushing pause.
This fall, I’m letting go.
This fall, I’m falling into now.
Author: Christine Suhan
Apprentice Editor: Brandie Smith/Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photo: Courtesy of the Author.