This is, by far, the best time of year where I live. The leaves are brilliant shades of red, orange, and yellow, and although those yellow leaves turn dull in a few short days and the ground becomes a bed for the many shades of fall, these are the moments I live for. The crisp air, the smell of wood fires burning and the shorter days signal cozy nights in, fuzzy socks, hot tea and throw blankets. Reading books, playing scrabble, soups and sweatpants. It’s true, traipsing around in the snow is not my favorite activity to engage in. It is also true that winters here can be bitter.
It is also true that sometimes in life, times are difficult no matter how I spin it.
Times are hard for my parents right now. I’m slowly discovering how much energy I should spend on worrying about them or fretting about the fact that I’m the only one that know things I’d rather not know. It’s exhausting. Carrying around a secret for them both is not a burden I signed up for. It’s not that I don’t love them. I do. But I’m the daughter, and damnit I am not the confidant, counselor or best friend. I can’t be!
I am pregnant and getting married. This is supposed to be the best time of my life. Planning a wedding and preparing for little Carson to grace the world with his presence, these are things I’ve looked forward to for most of my life. Selfishly, I’m quite sad that this is the time when things have gone awry for my parents. However, I have to let go of the childish notion that everything in life is grand. This romanticized idea of how things should be gets in the way of appreciating how things are, good or bad. My parents are people, nothing more than that. I need to give them the grace to figure out their path and then allow them to walk it without punishment. Anger, sure. Sadness, sure. If the situation presents opportunities for those emotions, it is ok to feel them. So I suppose I need to give myself some grace too.
Instead of focusing all my energy on the negative, and the unknown, I’m choosing to relish in the beauty of the season. To remember that no matter what, time will move forward, life will go on, and I will be ok. My own little family is forming, and I owe it to them to take care of myself, and to take care of them. To focus on what I can change, which is me, and let go of what I cannot, which is basically everything else. I talked to God a lot last night, and again this morning, and I realize that my communication wanes when things are seemingly good. I pray (or talk) in earnest when things are bad, but I forget to give thanks as often when things are good. I used to feel badly about that, but I think God understands. If anyone can, the creator of the universe can, and I am constantly striving to be better.
So here’s to Autumn. To driving with the heat on and the windows down. To endless fights with the thermostat! To cuddle time, pumpkin carving, hot apple cider and hayrack rides. To s’mores over the fire, hoodies and sneakers. This will always be my favorite time of year. So here’s to Autumn.