Today it feels like Autumn. Yesterday’s hot air swept down to the Florida Keys in the night and North Carolina woke up with the visitation of September breeze. I still heard crickets this morning, which only made me think of distant summertime. I can barely remember sticky flip-flops and sandcastles as this summer felt like the ultimate winter inside my sweating body. Normally, the hint of Fall brings the idea of sentimental romance, trips to New York, and the beginning of new things or the snuggle of beautiful, worn things. But for me, as the season nudges me to rummage through my clothes and search for socks & scarves, my anticipation for Christmas, feels barren. The disappointments of my real life are so overwhelming that the idea of hoping for a surprise at the end of this year feels more like trick or treat.
Most of my childhood memories are in the Fall; my dad making us spend Saturdays raking; manual child labor that turned into itchy paper-mountain jumps, messing up our hard work. I used to climb trees and wrap my legs around the trunk, leaning on the branches to catch glimpses of the sun sending fiery Morse code in between its' golden hands. I think that’s when the artist in me began, basking in the pigments of nature as it changed so quickly. And as I recall those moments, it seems nature is the only thing left to bring me courage to hope again.
As everything I thought my life would look like has changed, and changed again and again it’s beginning to feel like there is no personal formula to believing anymore. There is so much unknown. As time keeps unraveling, the more mysterious the direction has become. It feels as if I am a great explorer who believed in an adventurous far-off land and now I’m standing on the edge of it only to find savage forests. I have no compass or grid to find my way through, all I can do is put my galoshes on and forage with no assurance I’ll make it.
So I slide my legs into my battered boots, one foot at a time, and I wrap my body for the season. I pack light, throw my girl on my back, and walk.
I don’t know what Thanksgiving or Christmas will look like. I don’t know if my business will grow or die. I don’t know if I will feel the warmth of happiness in my heart again. But my hope is that God might have had a divine plan mapped in weather patterns after all. That even though we don’t know so much, we do know: the leaves will turn orange and gold, the trees will become bare and the air cold, there will be magnolias and green... and before you know it, we’ll all be seaside.