40 degrees this morning. Aide memoire that seasonal change is relentless. That last heat wave, the one that coincided with the beginning of school in our unairconditioned schools allowed me to slip back into flip flops and hold onto capris. Julia has worn summer skirts and bare legs for two weeks. But I’ve been shutting windows at night, still determined to keep them open during the day to bring fresh air inside. Windows stay closed for such a long time in Wisconsin. I keep the window by my bedside opened at night almost to freezing but the opening shrinks and I need my down comforter much sooner than if I simply closed it. Julia, always cold, is huddled down like a little bear. We need to change out her bedding today and hope for a few more days of throwing off the blankets. We need to see what can be salvaged of last year’s fall wardrobe after summer’s growth spirt.
Like some good momma squirrel, I have been stocking the freezer with cookings of farmers market vegetables–roasted tomato purée, African peanut stew, pesto and tomatillo salsa. And a big batch of banana muffins with crasins and pecans to put into the middle school lunch box. Some of this not as tasty unfroze as when it is fresh but we will appreciate the burst of late summer in November. I seem to know when to begin storing for the winter as sure as any creature of the forest. Information that may be etched on my genes and I have been putting by for a long time. The pesto recipe is scrawled on a NYTimes recipe dated September 1985. Five months after Cheshire was born. Perhaps that gene was switched on postpartum.
Winter is coming. Not as long as the winter predicted in Game of Thrones but . . .
I count the date by the number of days from this year’s September 11. Almost unconsciously. This too seems recoded deep inside. Facebook memories and memorials of September 11 abound. Two young friends posted their childhood memories of that day. I refrained from posting mine. Someone else posted how that date is forever ruined for those celebrating birthdays and wedding anniversaries. For now, that is correct. Maybe for another 10 years or so. But December 7 and November 22 felt that way for another generation, and for some of us December 8. For me, July 5. Public and private days of mourning have lives and half lives.
The first cold snap sends me to checking New Years resolutions. Fall, autumn, the apples and honey of Jewish New Year noodges at me to check on my progress, renew pledges and perhaps rewrite a few. I see what I have barely attempted and where back pats are warranted. I indulge in counting up chits and reminding myself of what remains.
This week, set aside for marketing the fall workshops, I did what I set out to do–lots of email, some phone calls, cold visits and conversations. I called myself a meditation teacher for the first time. I am not yet entitled to the title but it describes what I do and fits neatly into the elevator speech recited over and over. Perhaps most important, I asked for help, friends responded and even a few to whom I have no connection. I don’t know if the effort will yield results-full workshops-but the making moved me from fear.
The week was another in a decent sized list of risks, living large, practicing the wild woman style. I’ve taught the workshops planned in the spring and set up the website. Both are works in progress, of course, working and reworking is something I do well. I began facilitating for Quest IV which is a rich opportunity to learn and practice. I went on a date–predictably awful, but still a victory. I drove in Italy. Ok, just in the countryside of Tuscany but I survived Italian highways and rutted dirt roads, I followed my google maps and wasn’t daunted by signs I could not read. I finished the photo scanning project of my immediate ancestors as well as David’s. Afterwards, I sent digital copies to those who might want copies. If they arrived at their destinations I don’t know, but my part of the debt was paid. In full.
I’ve given more, cared, invited passion and written most days. I still ponder dualities sometimes is a gentler way. I dream and finally once again, remember my night time adventures. I have considered home and wandering afar has informed the possibilities. I sit but my practice has become spotty over the summer. I need to redouble my efforts to turn off my screens and read, to write pysanka and knit. I still need to learn more of blogs and website design but here again, it is time to ask and find help. The cellar is still a mess, spiders have decorated this summer while I wandered and the yoga body still eludes me, but if all resolutions were accomplished by September, what would there be to do when the snow falls?
Shanah Tovah. Not happy, but good new year.