Monday, September 24, 2018

On Belay: Threads of Fall

I am incredibly excited to add a new Blogger to my rotation. I met Shelby Mathis while our husbands were stationed together in the Azores, and she has also come and worked on our farm! She will be posting on Mondays!

The first flit of a highlighter yellow leaf making its decent to the earth reminds me of another time. It recalls a trip with my Dad deep into the Colorado mountains, camping and seeing my favorite musician, Ben Howard, live at Red Rocks, our breath taken away by both white-capped Rockies and mile-high elevation.

That trip was the first time my eyes were opened to fall. Before then, I'd lived some pretty amazing places over the years, but I didn't know I'd missed brilliant colors and crisp mornings and slower pace of life.

I missed fall.

Leaves begin the shed, school bells resume ring, and the crisp air feels more like an invitation into something than an omen of the winter to come.

Of all the moves I've made in my life, most have come in the fall. So to me, fall is more than a season that ends or begins this time of year. It truly feels like the new year. Upon fall's arrival, just as the resolution day requires, there's simply no time to veg and hibernate. It's go time. Every year -- every fall -- the new home is waiting for me to build, so I shouldn't just let winter pass over my head buried in a memoir and a cup of tea as I am so prone.

Perhaps that's why I'm itching. The Front Range will see snow in a matter of weeks. I see winter down the way. And so, I acknowledge fall. 

I spent all last summer moving from crag to town to crag and it was fun but I got motion sick. I became home sick, though home was not a place then and only a feeling. Maybe it's just who I become in the fall. Like the trees and the bears and the geese, I become ready.

But this time, I don't have to move. Instead of circumstance calling me to reflection, I'm on my own in looking back. I'm on my own, readying myself for the launching of fall, the new year. 

Last year held a move to Aurora, a city I didn't dream of wanting to know. Before that, an entire holiday season at our first home, with family. That year held a farm that taught us rest and community. That year held a barn we called "home" for 4 months. It held the infancy of a film career and the propelling of a design career. It held a summer of adventure and pushed limits and sends and fails. It held weddings and funerals and memories big and small, near and far, somber and joyful. It held growing and learning. It held lots of tears and laughter and gratitude.

This year held no moves, only staying put, putting down roots. I started a garden, and even if it was not successful, at least I was around to see that. I'm building a community that I don't have to leave any time soon. Though we all change and grow, at least I am around to see that.
It has been a year of growth and courage and faithfulness. It has been hard and joyful and dizzying and exciting and parts of it way outside of my comfort zone. We started new semesters, new contracts, new projects, new missions.

The year incubated big dreams and goals while others were intubated and eventually taken off life support, labeled "not right now" or, simply, "no." Summer was an adventure, though we sweat in a house and not a tent for those blistering, sunny months. The year held a holiday season that warned loss, and the same holiday season would be the last of its kind, a heavy extinction. It held two weddings and a funeral in the same paragraph like a twisted Shakespearean comedy. 

This year I sharpened focus on a few things I hadn't carved space for in a while. I am taking my time to do well the things I want and feel called to do. I take more time to listen to what my body and heart needs. I spend less energy merging with the plans or assumptions of others, and more aligning my soul with the Greater Plan.

Now as I watch everything alive shed its beauty to hunker down for the brutal temps and darkness of winter, I am reminded of the seasons of my life. That each place I lived was good and lovely... for a season. And even if I wanted to stay, or even if I could go back, it wouldn't be the same because it too has moved on. Seasons are the natural rhythm so I'm choosing to not dread, but appreciate the shedding of leaves while looking forward to spring when it gently wakes the Rockies.

I look back. Then I look forward to fall.

I keep my arms and eyes open to the changing season the way aspens appear to gaze at the world around them. And I laugh at the time to come when I'll make the long, winded trek up the ramp to the most incredible amphitheater around as Ben Howard takes the stage and transports me back to seasons set to the soundtrack of his music. 

The world moves on, and so do I.

But I notice threads. I pay attention to the treads. I marvel at the intersection of seasons in this life.

And I sit in feeling known, in the way this moment feels familiar, in the way Someone knew I'd catch the thread this time.

Climb on,

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