I’ve always had trouble with the change of seasons, change of teachers, doctors or coaches, change in routine. I’ve never been adventurous with food; I’m nervous around new people and my idea of a great holiday is staying at home. I am anxious by nature, and change of almost any kind used to through me into turmoil. Call me boring, but that’s who I am. Or rather was.
I’ve realized, lately, that I’m not so bothered by change. The changing of seasons has always been really hard, (not ideal when you live in the Ottawa Valley). Normally this time of year is especially difficult for me. The transition from summer to fall to the pre-winter gloom has always unsettled me. I’m usually dragged through winter’s pregame show kicking and screaming, refusing to wear socks or close my windows, until I surrender to the inevitability of winter and collapse into a human hibernation of gloomy thoughts, carb overload and pale, dry skin. I’ve never enjoyed fall, despite its unmatched beauty and crisp, clean days, because I would anxiously anticipate the inevitable cold, dark days that unfailingly followed.
Last year I never went through this turmoil, but instead rolled through the transition from summer to winter light-heartedly, thoroughly enjoying my walks through the woods as the leaves changed and then fell. At the time I chalked it up to being pregnant, figuring my early January due date was giving me momentum to ride through the fall.
This year, though, I’m not pregnant, and yet I still feel content and again, I really enjoyed the fall, viewing each crisp, sunny day as a gift. Even now that we’re in that awkward in between time when the leaves are gone and Halloween is done, but the stores are not yet totally overrun with Christmas (I do love Christmas) and the first snow hasn’t yet come to lay down a fresh blanket over the soaked, muddy earth, I still feel happy.
I have nothing in particular to feel happy about. In fact, most people who know me would say it’s been a rather difficult fall and yet at this, my most dreaded time of year, I feel happy. I feel content and blessed. I think it’s because at the ripe old age of 29 I’ve come to realize that change is inevitable. While previously I dreaded change and resisted it in all forms, (almost always in futility I might add) I now recognize that aligning my sail with the wind, rather than against it makes for a far more enjoyable ride. Accepting that my life and the people in it will change frees me to totally and freely embrace all that is good right now.
I think I’ve also realized that not only is change inevitable, it is necessary. As much as I sometimes wish I could stop time, to prolong those moments when the world seems just right, (sometimes as I’m snuggling and nursing Emma, sometimes when I’m with the horses in the barn or the dogs in the woods), I know that those moment will pass, but new, precious moments wait. After all, if I keep my hand clenched around the moments of today, how will I embrace those of tomorrow?
So while I still curse the mud and the early dusk as I yet again hose off my horses muddy legs I also feel content and thankful that right now, at this moment in my life I have a wonderful horse. And as I grumble about having to convince Emma to leave her hat on, to stop biting her mittens or quit arching her back as I try to put her fleece suit on, I am overwhelmed by how much I love that little girl and how blessed I am to share these days with her. And as I grudgingly start carrying Kleenex in my pocket for the seemingly endless task of wiping little runny noses I feel grateful that we are healthy in mind and body. Of course it’s not all rainbows and sunshine in my world, far from it, but I know enough now, or maybe I just have accepted, that the rain, the snow, and especially the storms are inevitable, so it’s worth my while to soak up the sun every day I can.