How I love and hate thee.
Fall is my favorite season. I love the cooler temperatures, the abundance of vegetables in our farm share box, and most of all – the smell of decaying leaves. Yes, you read that right. Several years ago my husband and I were wandering around on a fall day when I inhaled deeply and remarked on how much I love the smell. So you like the smell of death and decay? Of rot? He said to me, in his way of bursting my bubble that he sometimes does. Yes, I guess I do. The leaves turn their most brilliant, and then they fall off and die, creating a wonderful aroma.
But here’s the problem. It’s also getting darker. And while I have never been diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder or anything, I know what is coming next. The pulling into myself, of not wanting to get up and start the day. In college, my worst episode with depression began in November, and every year since then I can feel the tug of sadness trying to take me under again.
There are things in my life going well right now, and things that are tearing my heart apart. And I stand sometimes at the crossroads and think how easy it would be to let go and get pulled under. But then I think about my family, and my friends, and the people whose lives I might affect someday. About how my co-worker calls me “Smiley” which is funny and ironic because my mother always tells me to “Smile more.” About the time we each get to spend on the planet and how we make the most of it.
So maybe I need to shift focus. Death and decay make room for rebirth. Darkness and isolation allow us to store our energy and recharge. Each trip around the Earth brings wisdom and experience.
Oh, fall. Let’s enjoy each other for another month, shall we?