Autumn is my favorite time of year. While I always enjoyed summer as a kid, when September rolled around, I would find myself sighing in relief that school was about to start. Yes, I was one of those kids…. a nerd with a capital “N”. I loved everything we did in school and found it one big adventure. I liked the art projects, school plays, learning to write in cursive and even when the San Diego Zoo person brought in a snake for us to pet. (That sound positively gross to me now).
Over the years, September and October have come to symbolize more than the start of a school year, although seeing as I start school today, I guess the more things change the more they stay the same. But in all seriousness, when I see pumpkins in front of stores and Halloween candy on display, I can’t help but think of my mom. Some of my fondest memories of her are from when I was a young girl during September and October. A lump forms in my throat as I remember all the Thursday evenings we did our grocery shopping, our trips school shopping for new clothes and her helping me figure out my Halloween costume. I remember her getting me fed and bathed and in bed by a certain hour and attending all my open house evenings at schools. And I feel sad that she is physically gone from this world and that alcohol took her from me long before her actual death.
But I remember those happy times that reflect a mother’s love and sacrifice of time, energy and ultimately, her freedom.
Autumn is also a time of year when the sky and sun are magnificent in San Diego (and in most places in the country where I’ve lived). Last weekend the ocean resembled a lake more than its inherent nature but the sky and water were magnificent with a lovely Mediterranean quality of light. I was also baptized at this time of year, so fall reminds me of how blue the water and sky were when I was dunked in the Spirit.
Finally, in our family, autumn is a time for football. Specifically, Sundays start with church and then end with naps and football. Even Hafiz and Rumi enjoy the sun and like to get into the spirit of autumn’s rhythms.