The summer months are filled with exposure and expectation. The days are long and lean, soaked in salt water while the nights are a cricket-filled symphony- easy to lull to sleep. But, August has an abrupt ending and almost immediately the early morning air changes from hazy to crisp and the past comes rushing back.
I remember the silhouette of my mother calling for me from the side door, wiping away my runny nose after playing outside in the fall. I remember the kitchen in the house I grew up in and the smells of chicken soup, apple crisp and sweet candles my mother used to make. I remember hiding under the kitchen sink every night when I'd hear my fathers truck pull into the driveway and anxiously await for him to find me. He always acted surprised to see me in there! I remember sitting around the kitchen table and talking about our day and it always felt warm and safe inside my home. I remember imagining what it would be like to see my family from the outside of the house, looking in and thinking how lucky I am. The smells and sounds of fall remind me of those times. Still, as an adult the season makes me feel safe and warm. It's forced me to find those old recipes my mom used to make and recreate them for my own kids, passing memories down. Carving pumpkins, warm sweatshirts, back to school routines, soccer games and hot chocolate .... The expectation of summer to be out until the sun vanishes at 9 - is replaced with my favorite blanket at 5 pm and a good movie, guilt-free. The movie and blanket are even more wonderful when the leaves turn to snow.
Sometimes a sweep of sadness rushes over me too as the sun rays change its direction, and new shadows form. Sentimental ties to the past, missing "being parented" and longing for those lost along the way. The upcoming hustle of the holidays seems daunting, but like any parent I love seeing my kids enjoying the performance someone else is producing. I'm the producer now, and I'm amazed by what I can throw together. I'm amazed by my own parents. The anticipation, the safety of the dark, the stillness. The fall reminds me that the gifts provided to me as a child, has provided the gifts to my own children. Blessed by the past.