August 18, 2010

The Circle Game

I’ve been having a hard time keeping up these days. The summer is a busy time and if we aren’t working we’re off on errands, visiting friends, or entertaining friends at our house. It’s made it difficult to keep up with the writing part of my job since I’m either not here until late at night or I am here, but enjoying my friends.

I think all of this is about to change, that life is going to slow down a bit more because this morning, when I woke up, it was dark. You may be asking, what does a dark morning have to do with being less busy, and it’s good that you ask because it’s exactly the same question I asked myself. “Why do I have this sense that life is going to slow down soon?”

It took me awhile to figure out the connection, but after I did my morning stretches, went outside to take care of my morning business, and then curled up on my bed downstairs to wait for the start of the work day it hit me — Autumn is coming. In other words, the seasons are changing.

Summer is a wonderful time — it’s warmer (for the most part), it’s lighter for longer, and each day is filled with amazingly fun activities — hiking, swimming, vacationing, visiting, and on and on. But as much fun as it is, around this time of the year (mid-August) I start to get tired and I wonder how much longer I can keep up the pace of summer activities.

That’s when the light starts to change. The sun goes down earlier and comes up later. Clouds often cover the morning sky and there’s a chill in the air early in the mornings and late in the evenings. Many people I know don’t like the change of seasons. They are happy with sunshine and blue skies and hate to see the days shorten and the nights lengthen.

Not me. I love the cycle of the seasons and even though I’m sad to know that soon I won’t be swimming in the lake anymore or jumping into my friend Ben’s pool, I’m looking forward to the leaves changing colors, to the fall hikes in the mountains, and most of all, to the possibility of snow.

But mostly, I love the cycle of the seasons because it makes me realize that there’s something bigger than us, that we aren’t really in charge. We like to think we are (humans especially, but sometimes dogs, too), but really it’s mother nature and no matter how much we may mess with her, she does things that bring me comfort — diminishing light, chilly dew on the grass, the slant of morning sun, the scent of winter’s arrival.

Gretchen says she likes spring and autumn most of all the seasons because they are those in between times when life is transitioning between birth and death. She also likes the coming of autumn and winter because she loves to wear sweaters and frankly, it’s been way to hot to think about anything even resembling a sweater.

But lately, I’ve noticed she’s donned a sweatshirt in the mornings and sometimes in the evenings as well. She’s turned on lights in the morning as well and has slept better because the sun hasn’t knocked on her eyelids as early as before.

I like the coming of the fall as well if only because it means a little less activity around this place. My other mother, Ann, will soon return back to teaching and while I’ll miss hanging out with her, I look forward to the changing routine — rising earlier and Saturday naps to name a few changes.

After I woke up this morning and realized that autumn is around the corner, I paid closer attention to the leaves on the trees — some are turning yellow even now — the last of the summer flowers, and way the sun sits lower in the sky. As you can see from many of the photos, Monty and I hung out together a lot today and even though we didn’t hang with Gemma and Saber, I think they both noticed the seasonal changes as well.

Okay, maybe they didn’t, but they will soon enough. I mean, it’s hard not to notice the darker mornings and the chillier nights, but sometimes Gemma and Saber have one-track minds (each other) and are perhaps too young still to grasp the immensity of it all. It’s a circle game in many ways that what goes around comes back around again. For them, of course, the circle game is really a game of chase, but I know they’ll come to understand the bigger picture soon enough.

While some of you may dread what’s coming, I welcome it and encourage you all to embrace the coming changes.

After all, what would it be like around here if nothing changed?

That’s the question Monty and I were pondering today…we hope you get some time to ponder it as well.

Until tomorrow,


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