When I went for a walk the other evening I noticed faint golden edges on some of the trees along the reservoir. Soon the valley below the overpass will be an autumnal rainbow.
September seems to have come and gone (soon) with barely a moment to catch my breath. Back to school is always a challenge, getting acclimated to different routines, curriculum nights, homework, etc. Here we are on the precipice of October, and I find myself wondering how can we slow down time just a tiny bit?
The truth is this time of year passes in the blink of an eye. There’s so many wonderful things to look forward to—Halloween (if you have little ones), Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year’s. It makes getting through the shorter days and longer nights a little easier, all the merriment.
And yet, those same things that bring such joy open wounds for anyone who’s experienced a deep loss, or manages depression on a daily basis. Without a sense of community and belonging, it’s easy to get swept away in the current of everyone else’s seemingly perfect life, of which we know isn’t true, regardless of the minutely curated Instagram culture we live in.
My mind is already wandering towards Thanksgiving, wondering what we’ll do this year to feel less alone while most families gather and celebrate. Even if the group you call family is dysfunctional, take it from a girl who grew up in one heck of a loud, often argumentative family, I miss those big holiday tables. Cooking for crowds of people—my uncle, aunts, in-laws.
When Michael died it began a domino effect of loss. That first Thanksgiving my best friend came with her mother to celebrate with us. My own mother didn’t want to come, and my godmother stayed in Florida for Thanksgiving that year, as she had begun doing a few years earlier. Then my uncle died a year and a half after Michael, and with him went our Christmas gatherings.
In the first few years after Michael’s death, I tried to find friends to take us in, make us part of their holidays. It worked for a while, until it didn’t. Everyone has their own family to balance. So, as I enter this season, I try to remind myself how much I love the crunch of leaves beneath my boots. I think of the first snowfall, and how magical it feels, a renewal of sorts, beckoning us to slow down. I know it seems too soon to talk of snow, but here I am, falling down mental rabbit holes on a crisp Thursday morning.
I’m not sure the purpose of writing today except that I’ve really missed being in this space, writing for the sake of sharing words–words that I know resonate with so many of you. And to say thank you for taking this journey with me, whether you’ve been here since the beginning 10 years ago, or joined me recently. I value all of you immensely.
p.s. I’d love to ask a favor if you can spare five extra minutes. I’ve an idea for a new project, and would love your feedback. Would you mind taking this anonymous survey to help me with the research phase? Thanks in advance.