This fall, I’ve felt it. The seasons are changing.
And I’m not just talking about the weather.
Life is changing. My babies are changing. The seasons keep changing, and I can’t seem to slow them down.
It feels like everyone is always in such a hurry. For my baby, it’s hitting the next milestone: crawling, walking, talking. For my big, it’s the next activity she’s signed up for or skill she can acquire: swimming lessons, sports, site words. For me…well, what isn’t it? The next appointment. The next deadline. The next social engagement. The next thing on the to do list. And on, and on it goes.
This fall, we’ve really taken the pace down a notch in our family. We’ve done less. We’ve connected more. And we’ve loved every second of slow we’ve squeezed out of (or into?) our schedule. But I’m not going to lie…it’s felt countercultural at times.
As the leaves started to change, I truly embraced the beauty in this shifting season. The added layers of cozy sweaters and warm blankets. The crisp mornings and sun-soaked afternoons. The cuddles during bedtime stories, because the house was just a little colder than we were used to. And even the darkness, coming earlier in the evening, gently nudging us to shut down a little before we’re accustomed.
And as I let myself soak in the feeling of moving a little more slowly, it hit me – next year at this time my oldest will be in full-day kindergarten. Five days a week; all day. For the first time since we brought her home…she will spend more of her waking hours away from us than with us. Our seasons are shifting, and for a moment I wanted to stop it. I desperately wanted to catch all of the leaves fluttering from the trees in order to stop the season from changing.
But then I remembered – we have seasons for a reason. And there is beauty in each one.
If I allow myself to become overly concerned with the next season, I’m going to miss out on this one. If I let my anxiety over what’s to come consume me, it will undermine the enjoyment of what’s right in front of me. If I’m not careful, the sadness I feel over (inevitable) change will steal my joy in the present.
With this perspective shift, I’ve been more in awe of this changing season than I ever have been before. I’ve been more in awe of this season with my children than I ever have been before. And truly, both are awe-worthy.
The thing is, transitions are beautiful. Who doesn’t love watching the autumn leaves turn their radiant colors and feeling the air grow crisp? Who doesn’t get excited for that first snowfall of winter? And isn’t the sweetest sound in the whole world birds chirping in sun-soaked tress on the cusp of spring?
Yes, transitions can also be hard. But I think instead of focusing on the seasons to come, I’ll enjoy the season I’m in. Because the thing is…even if a season circles back around…we can’t ever get a season that’s already past back again. We can’t put the leaves back on the trees.
Here’s to soaking up each and every season.