Thankful for autumn

Giddy blanket of possibility...

Have you ever watched Gilmore Girls? Well if you haven't, you should for a variety of reasons I can itemize for you at a later date. If you have, you know what I'm talking about. The lead character Lorelei has this sixth sense about winter coming. Almost every season, she wakes up from a dead sleep with the "feeling" that it's about to snow. She's never wrong. She can smell it. I have that same skill for detecting the onset of autumn. While others are still squeezing the last joyous outdoor adventures from their summer, my little feelers go on high alert for the moment I smell the leaves starting to change. It's a feeling that totally covers me in a giddy blanket of possibility. Let me tell you why.

Epic-transformative mode...

In my young adult years, autumn was a time of major change. Not the kind you're wanting either. Job changes, relationship endings, trouble passing anatomy and physiology, you name it. It started to become somewhat of a joke within my inner circle. Oh no, autumn is coming- something bad is going to happen!  While that may have been true initially, some very special things have happened in autumn. Some people believe that spring is the time for rebirth, but fall months are my time to hunker down into epic-transformative mode. The thing about hard times, is that it brings upon a forced change. You can't just sustain hard times forever. You may try,  but usually something has to give. 

Truck stops, cheesy fries, bottomless coffee...

I think one of my favorite transformative times happened in the fall of 2000. I had been celebrating my 21st birthday a few years too long. Working downtown, I was neck deep in the restaurant industry. That lifestyle is dependent on several things: constant cash flow, cigarettes, late nights, and shots. Lots of shots. Over time, this became something of a habit. While most people would be able to detect a problem starting to brew, when you're surrounded with other party-people, everything appears perfectly normal. Sprinkle a little depression and interpersonal drama on top, and you've got a pretty big problem on your hands. So I found AA. Or AA found me. Either way, change was had. Not only was I learning what sober people do for fun (truck stops, cheesy fries, bottomless coffee and more cigarettes...), but I was forced into finding the parts of me that I found valuable. There may be a select few folks that always had things easy, never fell apart, and had a fast track to success- but I didn't know those people and certainly wasn't one of them

 How I loved playing in the darkroom with my whacky ideas.

How I loved playing in the darkroom with my whacky ideas.

I was a seeker...not the kind you find in Harry Potter...

So who was I? I was someone that spent time in the photography lab at a local learning center for hours, I was a poet, an artist, a philosopher, a learner. But most importantly, I was a seeker. Not the kind you find in Harry Potter either. I've never been much into sports, even of the fictional variety. Also, flying broomsticks seem a bit dangerous. To me- a true seeker is someone that craves knowledge. Boy, is that me! I've always said I would have been a lifetime student if school was free. During this particular autumn, I spent more time journaling, reading, creating, and feeling than any other time in my life. It was magical. A time to find my footing, my identity and my path- whatever that was going to be.

Today autumn means opportunity for memory making. As a parent, I look forward to autumn for all the fun decorating, corn maze adventures, costume ideas (my daughter plans to be Snape this year), pumpkin painting, and the promise of a caramel apple decorating night, with fanciful child-appropriate holiday themed movies. I look forward to the leaves changing in the foothills where we hike, the cooler temperatures and yes, the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte. While my identity is entirely in tact, I will continue to evolve until I take my last breath. I will seek, I will learn, I will embrace new possibility. I'm so thankful for autumn. It's my time to reflect and find gratitude for the beauty and cyclic comfort that season changes give us. Happy Gratitude Tuesday. What are you thankful for?

AM