Fall is slipping through my fingers and today I decided to seize the day instead of just letting it wash over me. Our fall break was a world tour (according to my 10 year old) that took us from Nashville to Milwaukee to Nashville to Memphis to southern Alabama and back to Nashville. I had my oil changed the day before our trip started and in ten days' time we had driven nearly 3,000 miles. This travel brought many fun, enlightening and loving moments, but it left us (especially me) tired. We returned home two weeks ago today and I feel like I'm still recovering.
My approach to recovery last week was to try to take it slow. I crafted a lighter week of school work for A and B, both to help them readjust and to give me a bit more time to catch up on laundry, grocery shopping and cleaning.
That worked fairly well, but I simply was not able to do all that I wanted during October. I wrote very little. We missed Cheekwood's scarecrows altogether (which nearly broke my heart). And we didn't take a single long, aimless fall walk to collect leaves, acorns and memories.
Today was a grey day. It rained all day yesterday and the sun waited until noon to make a significant appearance. I did not let that stop us. We did one math lesson this morning and headed out for a walk at a state park about 30 minutes from our home. It was just what we needed.
A friend and her daughters joined us. While we chatted about compromise in marriage, how to rest in the midst of a full life and supper clubs, our daughters scampered over trees, waded into mud, dashed, dawdled and strolled.
I can't go back and change our October into a month that went according to my plan. And I can't guarantee that November will bring less surprises. What I can do is seize the days I'm given, make the effort to be fully present within those days and hold each moment loosely in my hands, grateful for what stays and only briefly grieving what slips away.
More than ever before, I am longing for Advent's arrival here in our home, in our lives. Last year was the first time I grasped that we don't just wait for Christmas during Advent. We wait for Christ. We await his return. By that definition of Advent, I'm already assuming the posture of that season. I'm trying to find time to listen, time to sit quietly, time to still my soul. I'm inconsistent in these pursuits, but they help me settle myself into my life and seize the opportunities I'm given.
Pictures from today's walk, courtesy of 10 year old photographer B: