Autumn Encroaches?

Summer is my very favorite.  Even when we lived in Texas I loved summer.  In fact, in high school. my forest green backpack had "Terra est laeta en aestatem" scrawled on it in white-out pen.  (It means Tara is happy in the summer in Latin.  Don't beat me up if it's slightly incorrect, I was a first year student when I wrote it.)  Ever since I can remember I have this strange mixture of emotions toward autumn.  On the one hand I love it-for all the reasons everyone loves it-but on the other hand I feel like a piece of me is dying.  I tend to have horrific nightmares in the cooler weather and I am *not* a fan of cold and snow autumn hints toward.

This year, our summer has been absolutely glorious.  We have visited new places, explored a lot of the state of New York, eaten more than our share of ice cream, swam to our hearts content, relaxed and looked hard for fun to suck the marrow out of every day before Allan leaves.  The days have been slow and lazy.  Some months seem like they may never end and we're all okay with that.  So when the first signs of autumn started creeping in, I ignored them.

First there was the fully stocked Farmer's Market.  That's not too difficult to ignore, I lived in Texas and Kansas for the last 8 years, so these types of veggies and fruits at the stands signify time to start fall planting (and several more weeks of warm) for me. 
Then the trees started putting on the glitz, but I ignored them for a few weeks, wondering to myself if there was some NNY tree disease to cause the leaves to go brown and yellow in August.

Buuuuuut, after seeing the following today, I don't think I can ignore it anymore.
It started innocently enough.  I had to make some copies and the only place around here to do that is the library.  I figured the kids could use a good walk, so we headed out.  The temperature today is only in the 70's.  On the way out of the complex we live in, the kids asked to stop and get an apple.  From the grocery store?  No...from the tree across the road.

They've been eating apples off that tree for a couple weeks now, but today the apples were large, plump and very clearly ripe-the insides no longer pale green, but a healthy white color.  They made me think of apple pies and apple dumplings and cinnamon and...well, autumn treats!

When we got to the library, it was completely empty, like a ghost town.  My first thought was that we were in luck, but as I got to thinking about it, I realized that the local kids are probably in school.  We sat to read some books together after I made my copies and it occurred to me I really should have my plan for schooling these kids ready.  (don't freak, I do have a tentative plan and we will probably start it next Monday.  Further, we are *always* looking for teaching moments, so they're okay.)
I could hardly drag them away from the library, so I bribed them with some time at the park. On our way we enjoyed a cool breeze and found the park deserted.  Another reminder that the rest of the world spins on and moves forward while we are trying to freeze summer and our last days with daddy.
We only have a few precious weeks left.  Plans are making themselves without our consent.  This weekend we will move into the last beach house of summer.  In a few short weeks we'll celebrate an early Thanksgiving with some of Allan's family.  Only a few weeks after that we'll spend a glorious week off work somewhere to celebrate an early Christmas before we send him off.  By that time, the leaves will be ablaze, no doubt and I will be far past deluding myself with my jeans and jacket on.

We have found ourselves getting antsy in anticipation.  Occasionally we take note of the passing time and feel very sad.  Sometimes we feel angry as time flies by and yet we have no new answers.  Other times we feel nostalgic, knowing that we will regret it if we ignore the moments we've been gifted with before he has to go.  If I'm not careful, I find myself sinking into sadness at what is to come.  I've struggled with autumn anyhow, so adding a deployment to the mix doesn't make me want to embrace the changing seasons.

But my promise to my family is to not get caught up in the busy-ness this season is trying to thrust on me, but to look up at the colors, down at the littles, feel the cool air, bake and smell the cinnamon, give thanks for these moments and, as autumn encroaches, pray for many, many more to come.

1 comment:

Mary said...

Thank you for all the pictures in this post! I, on the other hand, LOVE winter and you know here in Texas we don't have much of a fall either. So I am jealous and will enjoy fall vicariously!!! :)