If we get much more rain, the leaves will drop, and I will shake my head at the knowing that winter is on its way. But right now, it is still autumn. And pumpkins sit plump and jolly on my porch steps, which still need painting. I meant to paint those this summer.
My life is like this, I notice.
It's this season of child-rearing which is beautiful and fleeting and full of projects I meant to do and days I have spent doing other things instead. Because there will always be next spring for porch steps, but days good for apple picking with friends are rare.
I notice that so much of my day is this routine of things I do that just get undone within hours, but in the being here to do them, I am witnessing the season of life I have right now with these kids who grow so quickly. In the rhythm of life playing out as a series of carpools and swapping out too-small clothes from dresser drawers and shredding boiled chicken for stew, I am here. In this. With them.
And hard as I try, I can't slow down time, but I can cling to it by my presence in these ordinary moments, which I am coming to realize are the substance of the comforts of home and family anyway.
The fiery colors of childhood spill out all over my house as piles of shoes that fit feet I can't believe have grown so much and notes about sports and music and little piles of books with dog-eared pages and flour strewn on my kitchen floor and over the little chair pulled up to the counter where my helper has stood.
I stand with my feet in two parts of the same season, as I watch a little one just learning, and I witness the transformation of my oldest ones into young adults, and I feel some days like I'm stradling an expanse so large I may lose my footing, and then some days that space is so small.
And I can't believe how quickly all these years have gone.
Please, eyes, don't miss one single beautiful moment!
The leaves flash their brilliant reds and yellows. The mountains appear to be on fire above jagged granite. It's something magnificent to behold. My oldest paces with her cross country team before the championship. My son holds his little sister on his lap at the edge of the grass-soaked field, her pink rubber rain boots on proud display above his grass-stained knees. I breathe deep, the fresh air of autumn rainfall in the Maine countryside.
And I stand for a moment quite still, thankful for a moment like this to savor before the change of season.
"Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power." Psalm 145:4