As summers go in Pueblo, this one was relatively mild. We had only a few days of near 100-degree weather, and one of those was this month, breaking a 90-year record. Yesterday, a cold front blew down from the north and right now it’s 43 degrees, after a high yesterday in the 80s. Welcome to Colorado weather.
After I did all my morning errands, getting the boy up, in the shower, fed and to school, stopped at social services to make sure his Medicaid got re-certified, and getting home, I decided to walk around the park. I’m much more likely to go outside to exercise when it’s chilly than when it’s hot. The overnight clouds that brought rain here and a little snow to the higher elevations were trying to blow out in a hurry. The neighborhood was quiet. People had either already left for work or weren’t up yet. The park is still summer green. As I walked down the dead end that leads to the far corner, I noticed a large blue dragonfly on the street. Thinking it was frozen, I bent to touch it. It moved sluggishly, water droplets clinging to the gauzy wings. Not frozen yet, but I doubt it will survive the day.
I don’t know why I love this time of year so much. Things are fading and dying. The colors are dusty, having lost the brilliance of summer. To me, it’s beautiful. The quality of light on a fall afternoon is more striking than at any other time of year. The days are getting shorter, even though we still have two weeks till the Equinox. There is just something about the energy of this season change that calls to me in a deep, visceral way. If it were possible, I think I would live in autumn all the time.
The other day, I burned a significant number of items from a certain point in my past. A couple of weeks before that, I tossed a big box of video tapes from the same time. Fall is a good time to clear out. A lot of people think of spring cleaning, but for me, fall is more symbolic for that. Maybe it’s because school starts in the fall, and that always signifies a new year, a fresh start, hope and enthusiasm. I haven’t had much enthusiasm lately. I’ve been far from my peak in many ways for a long time. I’m not sure why. There are a lot of external reaons, but I’ve had external chaos in my life before and managed to go on and be fine because internally, I had a deep sense of joy and connection to the natural world. This seems to have vanished. I still enjoy being outside in Nature. I know I need to do more of it, but I make excuses not to, just like I make excuses not to blog or write or exercise.
G of course is worried. For the first time in ever, she is at me to go to the doctor. I suppose I should go, get some labs, have them tell me I’m too fat, and get it over with. There may be a physical/physiological/hormonal component to all this. I’m willing to entertain that. I also know part of it is my job/work schedule. For example, today is Friday. I got up at 5:30 a.m. and if I don’t go soon and take a nap, I wil be up for nearly 24 hours before I can get any significant sleep. I understand that’s not great, but there’s not much I can do about it. Just like my body loves this time of year, it also loves to be up in the morning and even when I do my best to keep a regular sleep schedule and practice all the sleep hygiene in the world, I can’t get this body to sleep more than three or four hours at a time during the day. I try. Heaven knows I try. But you can’t force yourself to be sleepy or go to sleep no mater how many deep breaths you take or sheep you count.
Sometimes, things shift. I had something like this happen a few years ago then the above items I recently released were more important to me. I remember I was in my office at work and I heard a whispered voice. It distinctly said, “Your time with this is done.” And so it was. All the feelings, magic, attachment, wonder that I had previously felt regarding those things was over in nearly an instant. It’s taken me this long to admit it and let go of them. At the time, I wrote the following poem. I think it’s even more relevant now:
Lammas blood flows
Slow and thick;
Now the zenith’s reached,
And sun has peaked.
Beneath the sanguine season’s breeze
A hint of winter rustles
Its chilly notice.
My heart has shifted;
The summer king falls silent within.
Whispered messages are stilled
In anticipation of a colder clime.
Where shall my soul anchor
During this time of approaching squalls?
I call and no one answers,
Or, perhaps, I can no longer hear.
First leaves fall crisply to the ground,
Drifting upon autumn’s freshening breath.
In this early glimpse
Of this year’s death, I wake.
Where have I been?
Adrift in Spirit’s vessel,
Alight with Heaven’s fire.
But now the wind has changed
And sent me back to know,
Sometimes when prayers are answered,
The answer’s clearly no.
The weather is brisk today. Perhaps, one day, I will feel brisk again, too.