The last two weeks, I've walked home with a growing anticipation of fall. By the end of summer, I usually feel like a wrung-out dishcloth, so autumn is always a welcome reprieve. But this summer has been different, milder in ways that go beyond the weather, and I've loved it. On Thursday, I lingered longer in the ravine, sitting under the trees and I felt a strange and not unwelcome sadness that summer is ending.
If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know these walks have shaped my days this summer. But I've wondered if stepping back from the blog has also helped me be more present in my world. And, coupled with that, the feelings that I wrote about in my last post. I've increasingly come to think that what makes me happy isn't necessarily loving myself, but simply knowing who I am.
While my own days have been green and easy, the world has become so hard of late. I don't think it's appropriate for me to try to wrap my arms around news like Gaza and Ferguson and Ukraine in some blog post because these discussions are the opposite of neat end-of-summer discussions. But that doesn't mean that my heart and mind aren't stunned by what we're still living through. There are days when I walk home and despite the verdancy of my Instagram pictures, I feel world weary.
"The best piety is to enjoy - when you can. You are doing the most to save earth's character as an agreeable planet. And enjoyment radiates. It is of no use to try and take care of all the world; that is being taken care of when you feel delight - in art or in anything else" - George Eliot, Middlemarch
Which is all to say that we're lucky to live with that duality; where our hearts are ripped asunder but we still go on living out pretty days, with coffee and walks and phases of the moon on your mind. It's easy to think people who aren't constantly warbling about issues on social media aren't engaged with what's happening. It's too easy to admonish people for carrying on with their pretty little lives while others share the headlines that cut things in two. But the complex ways we each decide to carry on, or just to irreconcilably vacillate between carrying on and feeling and thinking and doing, are not always visible; not always worn like badges or shared in blog posts or tweets.
And the over-riding truth is that life does goes on and we each find our way of caring and being engaged that also let us assert our own lives, with all their silly and serious wonder. And somehow, I find myself thinking, isn't that the point of all this anyway? So, here's to a fall full of golden and gorgeous wonder and hopefully happier news.