Autumn is an interesting time of year for me. There is always a sense of wrapping up: the carefree days of summer are over, school is back in session, back to schedules and responsibilities. The garden is winding down, plants are preparing to go dormant and the birds and small animals are all busy preparing for the season ahead.
Yet there is also a sense of new beginning - maybe I was Jewish in a past life? The fall schedule allows one an opportunity to get into a new routine, start new projects indoors, and for some reason I've always felt compelled to clean and organize the house at this time of year. Spring is so busy with things needing to be done out in the gardens; at this time of year the yard is pretty much on auto-pilot, allowing for my focus to shift to the inside of the house.
This fall has been no different, except that now Wilson is away at college. There is less of a schedule, his comings and goings were the bookends to my days: getting up early in the morning to do my treatments and have breakfast with him, sitting down for a cup of tea and a snack in the afternoon when he gets home from school, preparing dinner while he did his homework in the kitchen. Those markers are now gone, allowing me greater flexibility in my days but also a sense of openness and emptiness.
This year I started soon after he moved into the dorms, removing the dated border from his room, repairing the holes in the walls and painting. Sewing curtains, finally! His room looks great, tidy and organized. We've moved on to do the trim in the bathroom, our room and now are using up the paint on the 3-season porch. Funny how one project leads to another!
I'm aware that this is partially my fall behavior of working around the house, but also partly a coping mechanism to keep busy and avoid the fact that the house has a different feel to it and a different rythm now that he is gone. From time to time I do worry what will happen when I've run out of projects around the house (though to be honest, that probably won't happen for quite some time!) Eventually, I'll tire of the projects and need to spend more time on introspection, but for now I guess things are evolving just as they should. One day at a time!