|Fall Mums in the Neighborhood|
What I am really feeling, more than the change of temperature, is a change in my energy. I am experiencing Fall Energy. Does this happen to you? Do you feel renewed energy as fall approaches?
Feeling more alive and more responsive to life in the fall is one of the patterns in my life, one I have recognized since I was a child, I think. That increased energy begins building towards the end of summer with the appearance of school supplies and decisions about notebooks and pens for the new school year.
The other day I helped a neighbor who heads a volunteer project supplying backpacks and schools supplies for children in need. As I filled each new backpack with the donated supplies, I thought about the student who would receive this gift, and I offered a blessing for his or her safety in the coming school year. I also prayed this child would begin the year with eagerness and energy to learn and that this year would be one of positive growth and reinforcement. That's a lot to ask when you think about the struggles so many children face daily, but perhaps the new backpack and notebooks and paper and pencils and pens will be an encouragement for some to do the best they can. May it be so.
I no longer need new notebooks. Truth be told, I have a large drawer full of journals and pads of paper. I don't need a backpack either, for I have many bags large enough to carry my laptop and books when I decide to leave the garret and write someplace else. I am not heading back to school as student or teacher, but I do have that same energy of anticipation, of beginning again, of eagerness, of fresh opportunity, another chance. The question is one of direction--how to use that renewed energy.
In many ways I have been on an unchosen sabbatical these last months as I have recovered from a broken ankle. Even though I still walk with uneven steps and somedays I shuffle more than others, I am finally feeling more energized. I am able to do more in a day than I have for a long time and by that I mean I am able to do the basic stuff of life--laundry and grocery shopping, meal preparation and cleaning, as well as enjoy time with family and friends. That doesn't mean I am not tired by the end of the day--I am and I don't have much energy for evening activities. Is that my age? The ongoing recovery process? Or am I not pushing myself enough, not reaching for the reserves which may be there, but hidden? Who knows, but I know fall energy seems to be returning.
Sarah Ban Breathnach in her book Simple Abundance, A Daybook of Comfort and Joy http://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/3495853.Sarah_Ban_Breathnach writes about this kind of fall energy.
It seems to me that January resolutions are about will;
September resolutions are about authentic wants. What
do you want more or less of in your life, so that you can
love the life you are leading? It could be as simple as
seeing friends more often, setting aside time to have
adventures with your children while they still want
your companionship, rekindling romance in your daily
round, calling a solitary hour a day your own, or just
taking more walks in the dazzling sunshine.
The beauty of autumnal resolutions is that no one
else knows we're making them. Autumnal resolutions
don't require horns, confetti, and champagne. September
resolutions ask only that we be open to positive change.
I can try to do that. So can you. (entry for September 1)
These last few days I have spent more time at my desk writing, working on pieces to submit for publication, and I have signed up for an online class called "Your Book Starts Here, How to Plan, Write and Develop a Book" though The Loft Literary Center. https://www.loft.org I hope the course will help me move forward on a big writing project. I plan to participate as well in a Monday evening course at Wisdom Ways http://www.wisdomwayscenter.org in which we will discuss the new book by Elizabeth Johnson, Ask the Beasts, Darwin and the God of Love. http://www.fordham.edu/campus_resources/enewsroom/inside_fordham/march_24_2014/in_focus_faculty_and/on_darwin_and_religi_94782.asp I know there will be volunteer opportunities at the grandkids' schools and at the church we plan to join, and there will be childcare and some travel and more friend and family time. All good stuff.
Not long ago when I sweltered my way through the day, all the choices felt overwhelming to me, but today with the return of fall energy the choices and possibilities feel delicious. I think I will put on a sweater.
What are the choices and possibilities in front of you this fall? What will you do with your fall energy? If this is not a time of renewed energy for you, how can you best nurture and care for yourself? I would love to know.