I am sure if I had a few extra seconds in my day I could go back through the archives of “Excerpts from the Diary of a MadRanchWife” and find words written at about this time each year, describing the melancholia that seems to descend upon my countenance.
We had a long discussion this morning about the conundrum we encounter each year at this time. My daughter is living up to her mini-me status in yet another way. She senses the passage of time as acutely as I do. She is as melancholy as I when she steps outside and feels the need to add a sweater due to the autumnal chill. She must also intuit the changing sunlight, the different arc the orb traces through the sky each day, the loss of the brightness as it travels overhead.
I told her how truly conflicted I am at this time each year…saddened at the waning days of summer (we have such a truly, short summer here), the loss of our beloved flower garden, the exit of our zinging hummingbird friends as they head south for warmer climes. The regret at lists not completed, projects not even started, hikes not taken, books not read.
We talked about feeling despondent and powerless over time marching on, despite our very best efforts at attempting to lasso it and hold it still, long enough to eke out just one more day of summer, one more night of backyard camping, one more s’more, one more day sitting on the front porch smelling the flowers and watching the hummers dip and dive and fly crazily about.
And then we began the slow turn to musing about the myriad of wonders that fall brings, in all of its splendor. We spy the beginnings of the leaf changes, first the ground cover, followed by the willows beginning their dance of rust and red, then the wild rose bushes, with their bright red rose hip berries and yellow-gold leaves. Finally the aspens start, at the very tippy-top, with a few leaves sporting new colors, usually varying shades of gold. I anticipate a lovely fall, bursting at the seams with varying hues, a result of the many rainy days in August.
We talk about the smell of fall–fallen leaves, musty earth. We talk about the tastes of fall–the biggest, crispest, sweetest apples of the year.
And we both come to the inevitable conclusion that though we are loathe to leave summer, we welcome the autumn with open arms, with all of the awe it has to offer.
We make a pact to enjoy what each day has to offer, to try not to live with regrets for things not done. We decide to be grateful for what we have before us, to not be saddened that the wheels of time continue turning, despite our best efforts to hold them still.
This is the blessing of my life–to be able to share with my daughter the bittersweet lessons of letting go and learning how to live in the moment. I don’t always get it right, but knowing I have a kindred spirit to share my path helps to soothe my soul. Knowing that her life has been entrusted to me, by the Universe, to guide and teach and shelter along the way helps me to look forward to trying to be a better person, a better mother.