Yes, my trees that change color are starting their shift. The temps are cooler (although I’m still watching for that last heat-wave we typically get before Halloween). This morning we were hit with gusts of wind–the kind that blow the leaves off the tree (and, unfortunately, the remaining pollen into my eyes). All these things feel the same.
But this year is different. For me, autumn is typically a time of slowing down. Or at least feeling more calm and quiet. I’m sure it’s something about heading into winter. And I tend to want to rush through summer, to get through the heat and all that extra summer activity (which, while fun, isn’t always my speed). So when autumn hits, I feel like I made it, like we can all move into a quieter mode and just sort of be for a while.
Except, you know, my son is in his last year of High School.
Yes, I’m going on about this. Yes, everyone experiences it. No, I’m not special. But, hey, it’s happening, and I’m feeling it.
Happily, he’s having a great year. Happily, he’s finding colleges that feel like a fit and feel very doable, too, in terms of getting in. Happily, he’s (at least this week!) finding a balance between independence and, you know, actually hanging out with us and still talking.
But time does not feel like it’s slowing down.
Life has been change since the day he was born. Schools, friends, interests. Little changes, like letting a beard grow in, then deciding to change. BIG changes, like music. But this change. Oh, boy. It seems like every week, something new comes down the road. And if you lay all the new things in a line, like stepping stones, they lead straight to a decision, a choice, and a departure. Don’t quote me on this, but I’m pretty sure he’ll visit, we’ll visit, our lives will continue to mix and merge, in all the ways we want them to. Hey, for all I know, some other change will come along, and he’ll land right back here for a chunk of time.
Autumn has never, ever played at 78 RPM before.
I have been so lucky to have this boy, this young man, in my life and home for the past 17 years. I am lucky, still. The other day I said to him, “Wow. Life sure is change.” And he said, in all that wisdom, “Thank goodness, right?
Still learning from him.
So, yeah, maybe this year, I need to not look at autumn as a slowing down. Maybe, just this once, I need to accept it as a leap forward.