Golden leaves overhead filter sunlight onto my face; brown leaves underneath cushion my bottom from the chilly earth. I'm sitting under a tall oak tree, nibbling carrots from the farmers market across the park. A couple of squirrels run frantically nearby. One stopped just a moment ago to collect the nub of carrot stem I'd tossed aside. He looked at me with warning in his eyes, like "Why are you sitting there? Don't you know winter is coming?!"
The farmers market bustles this morning. Mobs of people wearing fall jackets and riding boots with necks wrapped in decorative scarves tasting apples and yogurt and mushrooms. The air feels crisp yet charged with a frantic energy. We're all stocking up for the winter, saving squashes and Brussels sprouts and jars of pickles, but also turning our faces into the sun at every turn. We need to store it up. Just like the squirrels.
Winter doesn't fool around here so as October wanes we all scurry: Play more outdoors, spend time with your friends, preserve and store as many fresh fruits and veggies as you can, find your boots and snow pants and down coats. We know that as Thanksgiving inches closer, so does the snow and bitter wet wind. And the darkness; tonight we set our clocks back so tomorrow it will be dark around 4:00. (That's so hard for me.)
It's okay though. Seems to me a fair trade for summers and falls as glorious as these. We earn these beautiful clear-sky days over months of harshness. Mother Nature wants to be sure we deserve August in Maine!
My family approaches our one-year Maine-iversary and I feel particularly pensive and grateful this morning. This move may have been the bravest thing I've ever done, we've ever done, and it's changed us as individuals and as a family in large and noticeable ways. Mostly for the good, I think. We had to put every bit of faith in God and in one another to pull us through huge unknowns. And we've found out how to find joy in simple things and everyday moments.
In coming weeks, I hope to write more about how we've grown and learned this past year. But for today I'm soaking in this fall air and basking in this sunshine.
God is good, y'all. And Maine is, too.