Turn the Seasons Around

As you've probably guessed, I took a spontaneous hiatus for the summer. I'm not going to make any grand promises about the coming months, either, but I do intend to try to get a few letters out, even if they're sporadic and low on content. I haven't written, really, in months, and I miss it, so here we go with things.

There's been a lot of news this summer, and I wonder sometimes if that's part of what's made writing so difficult: there's no time to think or process anything before the next unbelievable thing happens. I tried so hard for so long to look for the bright side of things, or at least the "how can this turn out ok?" side, but as the summer's gone on, those things I cling to have become so personal and dependent on my own circumstances that sharing them seems unhelpful and potentially harmful to other people, which is the opposite of what I want. At the same time, it also feels hard to think about anything else, although I'm going to try.

As the summer starts to fade into autumn, I've been thinking (as I often do) of other summers, and other autumns. My life is technically disconnected from the academic calendar these days, but I'm not sure we're ever really separate; the world around us operates within its structure, and the expectations of how our days will be structured change when the kids around us are in and out of school. The feeling of autumn is of newness, and I remember all the days I spent daydreaming about new school years, new classes, new people, and new places. This, I was always sure, would be my year. Sometimes it was and other times it wasn't, but the little flutters of hope as the nights start to chill and the leaves start to change linger.

While we were in Nova Scotia this summer, for the first time I felt myself missing not just our home but also our city. Since G started his current job and our life became more stable, I've settled into the city in ways I hadn't been able to do before, but this was the first time I found myself actively missing the city as a whole. My concept of home had expanded more than I'd realized until we were away for a while. Since we've been back, the weather has been beautiful, and the opportunity to open up the windows and let the outside in a little has been refreshing. Kids play on the lawn and in the pool across the street, the guy who plays opera on his car stereo drives by with his windows down every morning, my friends are a short drive away, and I feel like I'm surrounded by my people again. 

So, to hold myself together, I think small. I think of the person I'm growing and how I already know so much about her (she likes when G reads to us at bedtime. She's most awake from 10am-noon and again from 10pm-midnight. I have two pairs of underpants where she finds the waistband too constrictive. She likes when we ride in the car). I think of my household, my neighbors, my city. Most of the time, at that scale, things are pretty alright. We're doing ok. Challenges are surmountable. Much bigger than that, though, and things seem a lot more complicated, and a lot less solvable.

It's my hope, at least, that going into the cooler months will help alleviate some of the human tensions that have made this summer so difficult for so many people. Maybe we'll be able to hunker down, nurse some wounds, and heal a little, and maybe in doing so we'll have a little bit of time to focus on each other. I don't know if this is a realistic hope, but I'm hoping for it all the same. The kids are going out again, and if we're lucky, they'll find out how to make a better world. Maybe this time, the grown-ups will try it out, too.

Who Do You Want to Be?

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