I began this two days ago and wrote more in the morning, the day after Judge Kavanaugh complained the his “family and  name have been totally and permanently destroyed.” He also said what goes around, comes around. I believe Christine Blasey Ford. I believed Professor Anita Hill. These women have showed courage beyond my wildest dreams. My thoughts of the season pale beside their actions. I honor them.
Still, I write.
Ah, the turning of the season! Last week or late the week before, I noticed a few fringes of red on the trees I see driving on the Beltway. Why don’t I know the names of trees? I could say the oaks are redding, the maples show scarlet. Maybe one day. Not today. Closer to home, the ashes are yellowing and dropping those tiny yellows so that the street gutters are looking messy with yellows and greens and browns. I love that clutter. Every year at this time, I remind myself never to buy a house in this season. The colors, the wind, the crackle of cold air, the smell of first logs in fireplaces and the clutter of leaves lining the gutters in streets—I would be romanced, swept off my feet. I would not make a sensible decision.
Fall/autumn. There is a difference that I am not looking up right now. It is the season that brings tears to my eyes. Or tears just behind my eyes, patiently waiting for the nudge to come forward. Sometimes an ache in the chest, heart hurting. But not all bad, just change. And change is hard.
From fall to winter, from spring to summer, it is a slide. Sometimes bumpy to be sure. We complain every year in the upper midwest that we skitter from spring to summer in a few days or snow flies before the leaves are off the trees, but basically summer and winter are further along a trajectory that is already started. Cool, cold and colder; warmish, warm, hot.
But Spring and Fall are about drama, huge change, transformations before our eyes. Yes, I love them both and best. Don’t ask me to choose between twins. In spring the brown and grey transform into yellow and green, flowers pop up where there were none yesterday, and legs and arms emerge from woolen wrappers. Beginnings, beginnings, we see beginnings.
On the other hand, in the fall greens, even tired greens that have gone to greys have to let go, color explodes and then the life-giving chemicals of leaves retreat into limbs and trunks. We have front row seats to watch how nature takes in loss; how blazing reds and oranges color our canopy, litter the lawn and then dissolve in compost heaps. Is fall so terrifying beautiful to help us accept the death and loss of easy days outside and walking along the bay?
Fall is when my energy rises, ideas become projects, lists are made, goals set. Everything is possible whether or not it makes sense. Fall is when I count losses, missteps and failures over the year, over decades, over a lifetime. Fall is when I miss talking to missing friends and holding hands with a missing lover. Fall is about settling into the inevitable losses, looking for graceful exits and appreciating what remains in the small, hidden corners filled with pillows and a warm down comforter.
And so, fall is a good time to say the longer fiction work continues to get longer and I am contemplating being closer to Cheshire. A stink bug just crawled across my keyboard, chili is on the stove and glorious morning muffins are in the oven. Julia had a hard week and my advocacy whirlwind began to pay dividends. The reinventing of wheels we are both doing sent us to bed early and I am bringing plants inside before the freeze.
What a time. What a time. I am grateful for a life we can live.
I’ve taken my time to write about homecoming and to post a few pictures. Last weekend, we were in the heat of homecoming for West High. I went to a Catholic girls high school and Cheshire went to a small private school and so, I’ve never been exposed to the full on big public high school hoopla. On Friday, Julia marched with the cheer team in the parade and then performed in the assembly afterwards. We had time after school to run to speech therapy and then on to the football game. It was freezing— a quick change in weather—and I had to run home to get Julia leggings. The cheering stopped after halftime, a blessing and at least at that time the West High team was winning. We got home around 10, hungry, cold and tired and feasted on the quickly cooked frozen dumplings from an almost inexhaustible bag of them stashed in the freezer. Saturday was the big homecoming dance. I was one of a cadre of chaperones and contact person for kids in special ed who came to dance and party. Before that we had a cello lesson, some homework and then an afternoon devoted to dance preparations. A bath was taken, hair was curled and a bit of makeup applied. At the dance, Julia waited for a few girls who she wanted to hang out with. They seemed to come last but that perception was my angst. Whenever I caught sight of her during the evenings festivities, she was in the gym, bouncing and dancing. She reported having a very good time. If I was going to wish for anything else, it would be an invitation from some girlfriends to dinner before a dance because that it is what “everyone” does.
This Friday, it is so much quieter. No football tonight, first time since school began. Journaling after speech therapy, fractions and cello tonight. Chili and cornbread. And then some incredibly silly movie.
Quiet this weekend as the Fall rages around us.
2 thoughts on “heroes, seasons and homecoming”
You really caught the essence of fall– the bittersweetness of it.I love both spring and fall, but maybe spring more.
I remember feeling some pain when Alex never even went to any of the dances at West.
In those days, most people went with a date– at least I think they did. Kate went to a few dances, but she was a late bloomer. Nowadays, one’s child can at least go and join a few friends and acquaintances. But it’s still mixed feelings for a parent.
I can sing the praises of spring too– time of narcissus and hope. Ah! Yes, Julia is pretty lucky to live in an age when she can go to a school dance with a bunch of friends. I remember the pain of not being asked or having no one to ask (Going to a girls’ school meant we have to ask boys to dances. Come to think of it, it was pretty good training for life.)