Years ago, when four little sillies lived in my home, the chill of autumn would bring a shudder to my spirit. I would foresee a season of colds and bronchitis and ear infections and asthma flares. When the storm windows were shut in the northern Illinois home that I lived in then, it surely signaled the time of blizzard watches and shoveling your way to anywhere. It certainly was a time of hibernation, self imposed or other, just due to the inordinate difficulty of getting most places with the anxiety of exposing or being exposed to, a myriad of germies. Paranoid? Indeed. Housing two very afflicted asthmatics, where every cold precipitates life threatening situations, makes you that way.
But the seasons, they do change, and, spring, when it finally arrived in the northern climes, was heralded and applauded.
Sadly, that was how I viewed the fall season for many, many years.
But no more.
The chillens have moved on. I've moved farther south. The asthmatics outgrew their affliction and I know view the world in the autumnal glow as the anthem of my Third Act of Life.
(So that you do not feel empathy toward my children for their Autumnally Afflicted mother, be assured that I kept my sighing and whining far from their tiny ears. My husband got to hear it aplenty in the privacy of our boudoir, but he would never let me tarry their long. His ebullient attitude buoyed us both up on those dark, cold, virus ridden days. I would wear a cheery mask, extolling the beauty of the season while inside I wept.)
I do not say these things to cause sadness upon my young mama friends. I share this as an encouragement. I speak of these things joyfully, reminding you that in the thick of mommying, there is the Golden Season. There is the time when they do not need you, in the day to day practical sense, anymore There is a time when the coming of winter enfolds you into a season of inner peace, not isolation. There is a time where you are not bound by the clock, calendar or dinner bell. There is a time, before you have a foot in the grave, that you get to dance on it a bit.
And thus was today.
Hubby and I had coincidentally scheduled doctor appointments on the same day but hours apart. Since we live two weeks from anywhere, when we travel to our appointments, we generally utilize our errand running and fetching to take advantage of the gas saving opportunity. Today, we were able to finish up his appointment and take in a tasty lunch at Scholar's Inn Bakehouse http://www.scholarsinn.com/bakehouse.html (the Panera for retired folks; there were only one or two there that had no silver in their hair; and hits for the 70's appeased us boomers...) near both of our different doctors. And you know, there is a Target right behind it, right? So, right in the middle of the week, with no list or purchasing needs, we merely spoofed around, picking up things here and there as we saw a need.
We had plenty of other retail stops that we could have spoofed on with, but the day was calling us and we had a good 90 minutes to waste well.
That is another fabu thing about this thing called the Golden Season - you don't need much to entertain you. You have a house full, garage full, cottage full, of things. You know that your days of being a fashion maven are over and quite frankly, you just don't care about those things anymore. Thank God. Not that we wander dishelveledly, we just don't feel the need to compete anymore. Ahhh...What a relief.
So as we drifted through the back streets of Bloomington, looking for entertainment, Hubby remembered a park that we needed to visit. Thanks to our friend, Android, we found it with no problem. Since we have been in the Fancy Free mode for some time, we always travel with a quilt and folding chairs for such a non event as today.
Hubby grabbed the quilt and I grabbed my knitting and sketch pad and off we were to find the perfect spot for our spontaneous big fun.
The park was full of people wanting to grab the last of the season's color and temperatures and lots of big fun was going on with many people. We found senior citizens from a nursing home on the swings, favored dogs getting brisk runs and walks. We found students parked under trees with their textbooks and sketchbooks. We heard small children taking advantage of the play equipment. We listened to the squeals of joy that playgrounds bring and the quiet laughter of lovers on a memorable afternoon. Yet we created our own little bit of memorabilia just by enjoying the day.
It was forty years ago this month that I began preparing for my wedding day. This kind of weather reminds me of traveling to department stores to register for things, going to fittings for my dress, vanilla candles, just then coming into vogue and the anticipation of 'our' new life.
And here we were today. Perched on a gentle slope, far away from where we started, geographically and metaphorically, basking in the sun and friendly breeze, thanking God for the trip.
Thanks to our friend, Android, we were able to listen to the sounds of that fall, forty years ago: Cat Stevens, Morning has Broken, Moody Blues, For My Lady, the Doobie Brothers, Listen to the Music. I knitted; he napped, we both reminisced and it was good for our spirit, our bodies and our souls.
Take heart, my dear young mamas - your day is coming soon, sooner than you think. Plan now for the Golden Season in your heart and embrace your spot now. Live it well and celebrate when it is done well for a heart full of peace at the completion of it.
And rest in it well.....
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