Soaking Up Every Last Ray of Fall

When winter rolls around in these parts, it tends to hang on for what seems a very long time. The winds howl. The temperatures dip. Low. The horses take their place along the shelter belt and the dogs can’t get inside fast enough, much to the dismay of the Cowboy.

So on days like those we’ve had recently, beautiful, warm, sunny and well into October, we do all we can to soak up every last moment. Our 13 y.o. told me the other day, it was too nice out, she was going outside to do some homework. By the time I wrapped what I was doing and went out to check on her, I found she had curled up and was asleep on the lawn, the dogs by her side (until I walked outside) and the horses, goats and the donkey, not too far away.

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I took a deep breath, soaked up a beautiful fall afternoon and let her sleep a little longer. There won’t be too many days like this left. And opportunities to rest – for any of us – especially as we get older, seem rare.

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Nothing Gold Can Stay

I was clicking through WordPress this morning on my way to post something for a client, when I came across Hoof Beats and Foot Prints most recent blog post. At the top were words from Robert Frost that will forever take me back in time.

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

When I was just a kid, there was a pretty core group of us that hung out. And for the most part, it was a group of boys. I was never much of one to play with dolls, worry about getting dirty, I never cared to paint my nails, go to the mall, watch tv or gossip about what may or may not be going on with any of our other friends. In no way do I mean to stereotype here or be critical of others activities. At all. But it seemed when I had the opportunity to get together with friends that were girls, these were many of the options. I wasn’t interested. Neither was my best friend, Amy who lived just a few doors up the street.

I wanted to run through the woods, build forts, listen to heavy metal, play football, compete, prove to them I could be just as much one of the guys, at that age, as any of them. Which, in hindsight, I’m wondering if it didn’t drive my parents crazy. And Amy, hers. We have laughed a lot about it since.

Anyway, our group would get together often and watch movies. And in trying to hang tough with the guys, I watched more horror movies than I’ve collectively seen the rest of my entire adult life, my first porn flick, Porky’s repeatedly, countless few films and when those got old we’d throw in, The Outsiders. The film, and what a great film that was, would rile us up in that small town we grew up in and we’d run around like somehow we had the same angst happening in our own community. I had the lines nearly memorized. But nothing has stayed with me from that movie more than the poem, Nothing Gold Can Stay.

fall leaves

I love this poem for so many reasons. But mostly because, every time I see or hear it, it takes me back. It reminds me of a much simpler time in my life and so many friends I’ve lost touch with but that will always hold an incredibly sweet place in my heart and soul. Friends who embraced me at one of the most awkward and challenging stages in my life when I was often made to feel like an outsider, because I didn’t fit the typical little girl mold. Of fall. Of the leaves turning. Of the home I used to live in and the big woods out back – that are full of memories – but that I now only get to drive by and wonder what sort of life the family that lives there now, has. Of just how much has changed since. How quickly the seasons of life pass us by ..

Fall

“You have to come see the sunrise,” the Cowboy said to me earlier this morning ..

I had already been out, after the bus came to pick up our oldest for school, in my pajamas. With a steaming cup of coffee.

Sunrise

It is the second full day of fall 2013.

The morning could not be more perfect here in South Dakota. The sun is rising, the colors across the horizon are absolutely stunning and it’s about 60 degrees. One of the best morning’s to go for a ride ..

Nightmare

.. or a run. Or even just hang out on the porch with a cup of coffee and soak it all in. We all know, days like this are numbered.

………………

For about as long as I can remember, fall has been my favorite season. When I was a kid, I loved that it meant the start of another school year, cross country season, football games, crisp cool nights, the smell of campfires, leaves crunching underfoot as we would run through miles and miles of woods behind our house and the holidays once again around the corner.

While it still means many of these same things and I still have a very genuine love for the season .. I found myself yesterday, for the first time I ever I believe, not wanting summer to end. Not wanting to feel the cool breeze of fall or see the leaves turn. I realized after really allowing myself time yesterday to think about why .. it’s because it means another year is about to end. But, not just another year – another season of life. And the seasons, the years anymore, seem to be passing us by so fast.

Cliche, I know. But how very true.

I was helping my daughter with her homework the other night and as I looked over at her, all I could do was wonder where the first 12 years have gone. I looked later that night at the Cowboy who’s been sick for weeks now, fighting some sort of lung infection and all I could do was wonder how many more years of good health and life we might be blessed with. It has been a year of incredibly joys but also great sadness, aging family members have suffered major health complications, a few within just the past few weeks. Several family members and close family friends have recently passed away.

I do my best to never take a day or a moment for granted. Sometimes that means I, and many others like me, often go 500 miles an hour and throw ourselves into everything life, family, community and each day have to offer (often to the dismay of the more laid back around us). But it is also why we can appreciate the opportunity to slow down, reflect and spend time doing nothing but, say..

Soak up a beautiful sunrise.

Hope you are able to get out and enjoy all this fall and this beautiful season of life have to offer. Off to run ..