I have mixed feelings about fall.
On one hand, I understand the bits about crisp, cool days and school supplies and football games and pumpkins and warm apple cider.
But on the other, falls feels an awful lot like change. And sometimes change feels hard.
It's like just as soon as you start to believe the long, warm summer days will never end, suddenly there are amber leaves crashing down around your feet.
The earth itself feels a little unsettled, leaves ablaze, branches groaning, one day unbearably hot, the next day unbelievably cold.
Slow, lazy routines are exchanged for sharp, rigid schedules.
We stretch and settle and find our footing once again, just in time for the fullness of the trees to abandon us, leaving behind stark, grey skies.
(All this to say, it's been two months since I've posted on this blog. I feel like I owe an explanation, or maybe not.)
This fall brings with it another layer of change as Mady began preschool and I find myself with more space and freedom than I have in all my nine years of motherhood. My last baby and I, we take long walks, we watch way too much Curious George, we clean up the kitchen before we leave the house (when we leave the house...mostly we are happy to stay home, in the calm).
It's been a time that lends itself to sitting and reflection and being still.
While the days have been quiet and spacious, the evenings have been busy and full. Dylan played football this fall and Ella cheered and some weeks we were running around four days a week plus Saturday games. Granola bars flung here, equipment thrown there, always rushing -- rushing to get there, rushing to come home.
The kids were happy and healthy though and I'm glad we did it.
In the midst of some chaos, and in the company of reclaimed freedom, I have been learning to create white space, in big ways and small. I'm trying to fill my days with less in order to find more in which to move and grow and breathe.
Less distraction, less stuff, less full. Less is more.
I'm leaning into something new to me -- a yoga practice. I've gone to yoga classes before, and found something valuable there, but have never fit it into my routine, long-term. I finally found a class, at 5:45am, no less, that fits into my schedule, and Theresa and I have been taking turns driving our minivans to class, dragging our tired bones and our yoga mats out of the house before the sun rises.
I love that it's called a practice because that's really what it is. There is no push to achieve or arrive or accomplish. It's simply an invitation to show up, to engage, to be aware.
In much the same way that I suddenly believed myself to be a runner (you deny it for a long time, but it sneaks up you), I'm realizing that this practice of yoga is becoming a part of me. I'm stronger and longer and more settled than I've been in a long time.
And now we're starting to settle into these short, dark days. We are fully in the midst of the change, there's nothing left to do but embrace it. It's the beginning of birthday week and we're planning to celebrate until we drop. We're finding tangible ways to count our blessings as we look forward to Thanksgiving. We're padding around in our slippers, slurping up soup, and pulling the covers up to our chins.
Welcome, fall, after all.