Saturday, September 5, 2015

Seasonal letting go

Sometimes I get caught up in not wanting to let go of something because if I let go, then I have lost it somehow. Like it was mine to *have*. And yet, like with the seasons, I have a hard time letting go and also a hard time remembering that they return. Every year. Without fail. Things about them change (how 'bout that Seattle summer, huh?), but not too much usually (okay, you can argue Global Warming/Weirding).
My point is that I'm sensing the need to make letting go of and looking forward to a part of the process. It's not merely arrival and departure, it's appreciation and reflection.

What brings me joy is watching the seasons change. I love the new school year, the smell of pumpkin and cider, I love the dampening of sound when it snows and the cinnamon and pine smells, I am elated at the sight of the first bud and how the flowers have their own natural timing of blooming, and the drippy peach juice of summer and early dawn sunlight.

What bums me out is when I don't take time to appreciate those things. They are mere moments, but if I wait too long (as is often the case) to appreciate them, then I feel I have lost them, and then the resistance to letting go is strengthened. But what if Fall was only those brief moments of cider sips, pumpkin pie, and leaves changing? And I set aside time to pause while I reflected? And what if Winter was one snowfall, on one night in the woods, drinking one cup of hot chocolate, listening to (one part of) Harry Potter on audiobook? And what if Spring was a walk through the Volunteer Park Conservatory or a Garden tour and one bouquet of lilacs? And Summer was one peach, one dawn-breaking walk, one outdoor pool trip?

Why am I trying to cram in a lifetime of memories into each moment, as if it's the last (well, I can think of unhealthy reasons why, but I digress)? And can one Fall be about pumpkin picking and the next Fall be about cider pressing? Does every Fall have to be about ALL of it? The answer is that I've tried the trying to get all things into one season, to no avail. I think I keep making all my memories cumulative and then I compare 35 years of memories of Fall into one, barely three-month, season. Every year. Yikes. I'm pretty sure I didn't do every special thing, every single season.

That's my focus this Fall. I want to slow down and try to only appreciate a few moments, not ALL the moments and see if that changes anything. One Pumpkin Spice Latte, one breath of woodstove smoke on a walk, and maybe a pumpkin pie. There's always next year.

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