We are quietly seeing Summer drift out to sea and Autumn breezing it’s chill air in. As we experience another change of seasons, what should you bring with you from the Summer? What should you be open to as the Fall arrives? May I share some of mine?
I had a very crazy, busy summer this year. I had a close family member dealing with multiple serious health issues, my kids went to summer camp for the first time (sometimes they loved it, other days they cried to stay home), and we had some job instability. But we also had wonderful times! We had many family members from my husband’s side in Belgium come to visit. We spent a magnificent week at the beach on the Jersey Shore. We enjoyed the clear Edison bulb lights we finally strung around our deck that created our own outside oasis in the middle of suburbia and felt totally at peace in the evenings looking up at the stars (and the airport traffic flying overhead). We spent many afternoons with the kids at the community pool, and I watched my son learn how to swim underwater.
This summer was testing. There were so many moments where I had absolutely no control over the situation, or the outcome. It was stressful, to say the least. Worry creeped in and tears were gently shed. Through support of great friends, family, and coworkers, I gained strength to put faith in God to carry me through. I learned, a little (this is still my biggest battle to overcome), to give up control and know that everything will work out as it should. In the chaos of uncertainty and a new routine, I also found comfort, strength, and peace with visiting family. At times they helped just distract me from reality, but most of all, they were comforting and their presence alone was helpful. What was reinforced to me the most this summer is how everything happens for a reason. While it felt as is walls were crashing to the ground, they were actually supporting other walls that were weakening. And everything was able to keep standing.
From this crazy Summer I hope to never repeat, I bring with me into Autumn a sense of peace, a higher trust in God, pride that I can learn to let go some, and joy in seeing the light at the end of a time of struggle. I also bring the memories that warm my heart, even the little one of just starring at those light bulbs on the deck.
As Autumn arrives, I look forward to the crisp air (yes, even Maryland gets a slight break from the humidity) and to breathe deeply and feel cleansed from within. Is there anything better than stepping out into that first Autumn morning and being able to fill your lungs with clean, crisp air? Although Summer is my favorite season, I look forward to cozy nights in, snuggled up in sweaters and blankets. I can’t wait for movie nights with the kids, laying on the floor under a tent made from the kitchen chairs and a blanket. Baking pumpkin muffins and stirring homemade pumpkin soup are things I cannot wait to make, but mostly, I can’t wait to eat!
With each season, I love to take advantage of nature’s rotation. Fruits and vegetables that are naturally in season are higher in vitamins and minerals. Is it a coincidence that oranges are a winter fruit when we need Vitamin C the most to fight off sickness? I think not. I also love to take advantage of other seasonal things. In the Summer, outside is our second home. As a family, we try to be outside being active as much as possible through biking, swimming and walking around the block (my daughter pushing her baby stroller, my son driving his remote-controlled car). In the Fall, we will try to be outside as much as the weather permits with apple picking, pumpkin picking and carving, corn mazes, and scavenger hunts for acorns and the most beautiful leaves. Living in the moment with each season is a wonderful way to practice mindfulness. And what better way to enjoy the passing of time, then to allow yourself to be fully in its moment.
How can you be more mindful this Autumn season?