Transition and Hope

Autumn is Here

So, the weather has changed in southern California. The days are noticeably shorter. The summer plants in the garden are beginning to transition, going to seed and preparing to make room for the next generation.

My family has started the new school year. The changes this year were more dramatic than in years past, so we’re still trying to find a routine that works for everyone, requiring a level of flexibility in behavior and expectation that we’re not used to. Some of us are riding the waves better than others.

Now it’s October… the autumnal equinox has passed and it’s officially fall. I’m entering into a time of year full of familiar expectations, demands on our time and energy (and without my usual sense of a familiar routine), and it feels… uncomfortable.

As I sit down to reflect on this feeling, deciding what I want to say and how to say it, I realize that I’m still in transition. Normally I would have found a sense of a “new normal” by now, but there have been so many changes this year. As I tune in more, I realize this whole school year will probably be a transition–learning how to juggle new responsibilities, changing needs, and evolving family relationships. It feels a little dismaying.

You see… I’ve never really liked transitions.

Maybe it’s just a natural human resistance to change. Maybe it’s just a fear of the unknown. Whatever it is, it feels better just to acknowledge it. Honor and validate the discomfort, the fear, the nostalgic wish that things could just stay the same as they were… not forever, but just for a little while longer.

Alas, time marches on (as the saying goes).

Throughout it all, though, I have found so much gratitude. I’m grateful for my self care practices, including self-reclamation work, meditation, gardening, teaching, and my Wonder work. I’m grateful for the luxury of time–to reflect, to cook and read and crochet, to garden, to nap. But most of all, I’m grateful for the chance to feel… to have the time and (mental and physical) space for such self reflection, for honoring feelings, for crying the tears that need to be shed.

Finding Hope

A friend of mine recently shared on social media that:

To exist in this moment in time, if you have not already gone completely numb (and no judgment if you have because we are all surviving), is to be painfully aware of how much is so astonishingly broken. Hope is still alive and beckoning, I believe that in my bones, but I think it looks different than we ever thought it might.

via Instagram @broken_open_heart

For me, hope looks like slowing down and giving myself time to feel. Both the delight and the heartbreak, for I want to revel in the fullness of the human experience. It’s difficult to find a balance, between doing and being. To allow space for the pain so that we don’t close ourselves off from the joyous, especially in the midst of the hustle, bustle, and consumerism of this time of year.

Right now, hope looks like finding a way to reject the ever-present call to produce and consume. To learn to care for myself before I reach a point of depletion. To live from an open heart.