Saturday, September 21, 2013

Bemoaning the equinox (but not really)

When I went to a yoga class last week, the instructor talked about how fall was the season for letting go. "Ugh," I groaned to myself (in no small part because of my aching abdominals courtesy of Boat Pose), "she's right. I have to let go." 

Lately, I've been harvesting a lot of resentment toward fall. I'm not sure where it came from -- just that that first day I noticed the sun seemed a little more removed and the air a little crisper, I felt sad.

But how do you let go of summer and embrace fall? 

I've been thinking about my autumnal anxieties since last week. What is it about this fall that leaves me cold?

I think this year's fall getup is
 more elaborate than last year's.
It used to be my favorite season. I loved going back to school and the smell of notebook paper and sharp crayons. I loved the crunch of colorful leaves underfoot and the sweet earthy smell they make. I loved how my parents used to buy giant bags of apples and spend weekends making fresh applesauce -- reddish-brown because they left the skin on -- and how we'd get to eat steaming bowls of it sprinkled with cinnamon. I loved how my mom talked about buying punkins (never pumpkins) for the front stoop. I loved visiting the Chantilly's farmer's market and getting lost in the hay bale maze and sipping apple cider from styrofoam cups. I loved the anticipation of Halloween and stoked fireplaces and warm sweaters. I loved putting an extra blanket on the bed. 

When Brad and I were planning our wedding, I knew I wanted to get married in the fall. It was a season of transition and color and celebration -- perfect for starting our lives together. 

But when the oak leaves started blanketing our backyard a few weeks ago and acorns rained down -- thunk, thunk, thunking our patio roof -- I found myself getting annoyed. Annoyed at the squirrels racing up and down the oak tree to partake in the smorgasbord on the ground. Annoyed at the dog for barking at the squirrels. Annoyed at the half-eaten acorns littering the yard and digging into my bare feet. Annoyed at the chill in the air that meant I had to make sure the girls had sweatshirts on before going outside. Annoyed at the candy corn at the grocery store entrance and the Halloween decorations in the $1 section of Target. 

It was as if summer was being ushered out the back door like an unwelcome guest. 

And I wasn't done with summer, yet. Or, rather, I wasn't ready for fall. But the problem isn't fall. The problem is all that fall baggage -- namely the holidays. And the holiday buildup and the holiday let down. I'd just as soon avoid it altogether. Every year we're sold this version of how things ought to be, and much of the time, they're just not that way and you're exhausted by the effort of trying to make it that way. 

But fall isn't to blame for my holiday hangups. My unrealistic expectations are. And since it's the season of letting go -- perhaps I should start with those. The holidays don't need to be what I'm sold. They can be what I make of them -- and hopefully that's as simple as a good excuse to visit family and to witness those bursts of magic that come with celebrating with children.

The yoga instructor also said that fall is a season of gratitude. I'm still grateful for the memories of falls' past, and as it turns out, there's plenty to love about this year, too.

Like watching Snacks bound through piles of leaves. Or the inspiration the changing light, colors and mood offers for novel writing (the book starts off in late fall). Lily is already talking about visiting the "punkin patch" and as for Jovie, two words: 

Footie Pajamas:

I mean, right?
So happy (almost) equinox world. 

Celebrity cruise update

I watched the video below a couple of days ago -- and it got me thinking about my celebrity cruise. While Louis CK is on a list of people I'd love to meet -- I don't know that he's celebrity cruise material -- if only for the fact that I don't think he'd enjoy it. At all. But I am in awe of him. When you talk about how important vulnerability is in art, this man gets it. He's just this walking open wound of a person. He's painfully honest, cynical and dark but strangely enough still finds beauty (and lots and lots of humor) in life.

Anyway, the cruise roster has grown sense last I mentioned it. Here's who I'd invite: Tina Fey, Terry Gross, Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Ritter, Paul Rudd and Steve Carrell. It's an odd little cruise. May Louis and I can just get coffee some time. 

1 comment:

  1. what? No Joseph Gordon Levitt on your celebrity cruise? I am speechless! haha