turning of the seasons

You’re (probably) reading this at the end of September.

I’m writing this at the end of August.

The seasons are actually turning when you read this. I’m already thinking ahead to the turning of the seasons when I write this.

The last week of September I go to Tahoe. I’ve done it for over 20 years now. It used to be an annual ritual with my mom. She’ll have been gone 10 years this October. We would go and have our last bit of summer, but also welcome in autumn. We’d hike around Spooner Lake especially to be able to hear the Aspen groves quiver, and some years the leaves would already have begun changing, flickering like gold coins in the sunlight.

We would go into Truckee and do some early Christmas shopping and buy our own “bag of the year”, then we’d come home and play purses.

We’d swim in the lake, but not for very long because we’d get cold. We’d hope for a cloudburst, our first storm of the season…those used to happen with regularity.

We’d hike along the crest and get some amazing views, and maybe wander into Reno for a day.

We’d start migrating our food from light summer fare to soup and chili and colder weather favorites.

If we felt like it, we’d stop at Apple Hill on the way home and get apples and cider.

This was our ritual for the changing of the seasons. We were always sad to see summer go, but excited for fall.

And now, I’ve carried on and adapted my own ritual. While you’re reading this, I’m likely there (here?) with my sister.

I notice this season feels different. As I said, it’s August when I’m writing this, and I’m already looking forward to autumn. I’m admitting to myself that summer wasn’t the star of the year this year – it usually is. But I didn’t have a garden (partly drought, partly planned travel that didn’t happen). I never set up my hammock and lounged around in the back yard reading. I didn’t have very many back yard events at all. I started two new jobs. It wasn’t a lazy summer, which is absolutely okay with me.

I think I just might (maybe, could, probably) be changing from a summer person to an autumn person. I’m looking forward to light sweaters and sweatshirts. I like the smells of autumn. I just took a 2 minute daydream detour thinking about acorn squash, and swapping out iced coffee for different teas and lavender lattes. I think it’s okay to change favorite seasons, isn’t it?

Autumn has a really different color palette than summer, and that also is very appealing. I like the warmth of the colors, and I love the golden tones of wisdom.

These ruminations are actually the details of life: the little changes, the color palettes, the glue between the major events. This is ordinary times. I’m quite grateful to be feeling a sense of almost ordinary. I don’t know how long it will last, so I really do want to treasure it. Who knows, it could be different by the time you read this.

The aspen leaves will shimmer and whisper and shiver again. It’s all part of the rhythm and rituals of life. What are some of your rituals?

In the meantime, remember these things: You are loved. We are all loved. Let’s all be kind. And in all things – progress, not perfection!

Maggie

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