Autumn is solidly set into the calendar of our daily lives, it seems, here at PossumBox Lane. The wind is shoving against the house, rampaging through the leafless, sketchy branches of the trees outside, and the cat has once again claimed the top of the old heat stove as his favorite perch, albeit somewhat gingerly, as he is never sure when it will be hot enough to burn his paws and when it won't. This morning the girls and I dug out their winter coats and found gloves that will serve, at least for a little while.
Autumn and winter have always been bittersweet times of the year for me. Early autumn has usually been particularly troublesome, as I'm plagued by intensity of emotion from both ends of the scale, usually simultaneously. Heading into the holiday season, though, the inner drive toward anger or frenetic joy tends to die down. In the past, I've hated this time, dreaded it horribly. After feeling so much, feeling so alive, this grey existence quickly extended into depression and despair out of sheer guilt for feeling less than I thought I should be feeling. This year, I think--I hope--will be otherwise.
I am doing my best to lay aside self-expectations this winter, to let myself off the achievement hook. If I don't write a single couplet, fine. If I don't get all the holiday decorations out, fine. If I neglect my blog shamelessly--well, that'll just have to be fine, too. One thing, though, I do fully intend to pursue. What I want, more than anything, is to be able to find something beautiful in the fog of "depressed" or diminished mood, something to show that there is meaning there, and worth, something that applies to the life I live everyday as the person I am in the circumstances in which I find myself. Instinctively, I know with that "knowing beyond knowing" that meaning and value do exist in this foggy grey winter existence. I will find it. And I will live there, rest in it, be content.