After a few weeks of very high heat (here in the Bay Area, you invariably have to wait until September to experience summer!), it’s now starting to cool off. As I write this, I can hear the wind whipping around the corners of the house. Our neighbor was out with his rake today, gathering in the rusty brown leaves that have begun to pile on his lawn, a sight that makes me feel downright nostalgic. Even though I was a child of the Silicon Valley suburbs who never actually had the classic experience of jumping into a pile of vivid autumn foliage, those leaves still touch some primal chord inside, some deep longing for all the traditional loveliness of fall.
September is a month that demands a certain level of emotional energy from me. It’s a month to remember past losses, as well as to be thankful — oh, so very thankful! — for present blessings. And now that we’ve celebrated both boys’ birthdays, had a big party complete with bouncy house and Cars 2-themed cake, and increased our toy collection by several toy vehicles, a bowling set, and a Little Tykes basketball hoop, it’s time to sit back and slide slowly into what [I hope] will be a relatively quiet, reflective October.
I know that nothing is ever really quiet or reflective when you have small children in the house, especially not when those small children have a whole host of shiny new battery-operated birthday presents to send careening over the hardwood floors. And that’s okay. But still, I cherish a hope that I can carve a bit more quiet time out of October than I did out of the month preceding it. I hope to be able to sit at my prayer desk and look out at the large Japanese maple just outside the window, the green trunk and feathery leaves that are the backdrop to so many moments of stolen serenity. Every fall, those green branches turn gradually to a vivid, glorious orange-red. It would be a shame if I’m moving too fast to notice and savor that transition.
So that’s my goal for October: to take a brief moment, every day, to sit or stand at the prayer desk and look out at the tree. It’ll be my little way of celebrating the slow slide into fall, a wordless prayer of thanks for all the seasons that have brought me to where I am today.