Celebrating Seasons and Having Babies

I wrote this piece for our local parenting group and it appeared on their blog. I figured I should post it here on my blog also;)

Here’s the link to the piece on mamasays. And, here goes…

I may be hard-headed, or very slow, but I think I just had a life enriching idea, finally here at 47. Here’s my story. I love summer. So much.

Transport me to the south where it is beastly hot humid sticky crazy hot and I’m even happier. Here in Vermont I often wish it would get just a bit warmer, maybe 20 degrees warmer. I have this wish on the same exact days that my friends are complaining about the heat. Heat you say? It is not hot at 75, it is a bit warmish, in my book. They get all sweaty red faced and have to sit down. To me, summer hasn’t even happened unless it is too hot for me to sleep for at least 2 days in a row.

All these exercises happen only in my brain. There is no official declaration that summer has indeed happened, or that it is indeed hot enough.

When my friends say, “oh, look at the leaves! I love sweater weather! Almost time for skiing!”, I get sad. I feel to my core that something big is over, and I wish for what is not.

Being a self-help book reader for my entire life I know darn well that wishing for summer while it is indeed winter is a waste of energy and impossible and torturing myself. I’ve mastered or at least made progress on the other things that I work on in the self-help realm like, being in the present moment, forgiveness, a modicum of self care etc. But loving winter is hard.

Then I had a baby. Mine was born at the beginning of October and is now 7.
We go outside every day no matter the weather. I found myself sledding, building snow creatures, painting the snow and even sleeping out in igloos, the whole entire night.
Little by little, I’m sort of liking winter.
As I think thru this process, at first my idea was that –I hate winter then have child and he enjoys winter and I enjoy him so therefore I enjoy winter! No, that doesn’t exactly get it for me. So this morning, the first day with a hard frost after what I would call a glorious summer, this idea came to me…I can enjoy winter now because I have played the game of life and death. I at 40 participated in seeing the next generation pass into this world right thru my very own body. Profound.
Then, 4 years after my son was born one of my most important people, EVER, died. Suddenly, devastatingly…forever. I was wrecked by this, for a while. But now I’m starting to get it. People come, and…people go. Even the important ones. I mean, it is not that no one I loved ever died until I was 44, that is not the case. I had a baby at 40 yay celebrate life this is amazing, and at 44 my dad died oh my god how utterly awful to be me.
But now I see, and the seasons make this glaringly obvious especially here in Vermont, that everything changes. I continue to soul search. I am understanding it as well as I can that time passes, people pass, animals pass, and so do the seasons.
This fall, I welcome the frost and eventually the snow. I am not in tears seeing my favorite queen hosta absolutely at her worst, wilted to the ground in my garden. I’m ok with that. She will be me one day. And this seems right somehow.
Peace all
~cathy
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