Oh, autumn, how I love you. And oh, how everyone else loves you, too. What a beautiful season for spicy-scented candles, baking with cinnamon, an occasional fire when the evenings start to chill, and lots and lots of photos like these:
Looking around at Instagram, posts on Facebook, and all the lovely blogs I occasion, I can't help but feel like autumn is the season of perfection.
Um, no. At least not over in my neck of the (lovely-colored) woods.
As I did once before, I think I'm past due for another reality check. After all, it sure would be easy to get wrapped up in all the flashy colors of the season, and not be prepared for when they all blow away and you're left feeling naked and exposed.
So without further adieu, let's strip away the fall flash and have a look at what's really going on...
-A branch of oak reaching out over our driveway, mottled with color and captured after a romp through the woods with the kiddos (something they now ask for almost every day).
-Our firewood rack, stocked and ready to go up in a blaze of glory in our newly-cleaned-and-inspected fireplace. Also the home of a fairly large lizard that the kids, the dog, and the cat on occasion all enjoy chasing.
-A touch of pumpkin, pine cone, and firelight down the center of our table.
-The terrible sniffles that have had a grip on all four of us for over a week, and which have turned us all in to mouth-breathers. Also the main reason why no one is sleeping well, which has lead to very crabby days.
-The condition of my floors under and around the dining room table that so elegantly supports my little pumpkin and candle display. From where I'm sitting right now I can see sheet rock footprints from last weekend's light installation, dried shredded cheese, ramen noodles, a dehydrated pea, miscellaneous crumbs, and sand. Just from where I'm sitting.
-The ridiculous dual temper tantrum thrown just before lunch... over the fact that I closed the back door without giving either kiddo the chance to do it instead. Seriously.
-The pencil drawing on the bathroom door, door hinge, door frame, trim, and wall.
-The stress that goes hand-in-hand with the holidays of this beloved season and their logistics, diplomacy, and travel requirements.
I know that everyone can see the beauty that is everywhere this time of year... but not everyone is willing to look at the harder stuff that's in there too... stuff that everyone is dealing with. It is the best foot we put forward, the best of times we underline and emphasize. It doesn't mean the harder stuff isn't there. It just means that the color shines more brightly for the shadows all around.
Like I said in my last reality check: "Without the bitter, the sweet would not be noteworthy, and on that note, I head out to tackle the day... a day that will have both beauty and ugliness, but a day that I will choose to remember for the beauty of it all."
So yeah. Do that... and maybe this time around, have a glass of wine, too.