Autumn is here though our thermostat teasingly insists otherwise. Pumpkin spice lattes are gracing with their presence. Cinnamon will soon be lingering in the air as our oven fills the whole house with the warm spiciness of apple pie and snickerdoodles. School is back in session — a fact I’m only reminded of because two of my sisters are in college, my parents are teachers, and ninety percent of my Facebook news feed reminds me how much I miss Bryan College. As season yawningly twists into season and the world keeps spinning madly on, I pause in this slow-paced weekend and realize some of the reasons I’m looking forward to these sunset months of this year and a fresh new year, too.
In November, I’ll be running my second 10K, this time in St. Augustine. Although early morning runs are less than thrilling, the race itself is always worth the preparation. Nothing equals the pleasure of the pattering of thousands of feet, droves of track shorts and head bands, Nikes and knee braces charging through early morning light. Everyone beams with that unmistakable expression of victory as they approach the last few yards — raw joy and relief. Yes, I’m addicted. But this race will be interesting, maybe bittersweet because it’s my first solo race.
I’m also anticipating being a part of the local community choir. The season finally begins next week, and there is a good chance we’ll be singing in the Candlelight Processional at Epcot! Which reminds, me … Christmas is only a few months away! Yes, I unashamedly listen to Christmas music way too early.
As much as I love and adore the children in our class as well as stellar co-workers (ahem, Kirsten), I am also excited (or maybe just worried or scared. I haven’t figured out what this emotion is yet) about whatever is around the corner after this job. At this point, I am still looking to teach English overseas somewhere. We shall see.
As autumn falls upon us (pun completely intended), I’m trying to cultivate a good life right here where I am, though I feel I’m stumbling over myself in anticipation rather than taking sure, steady steps toward these landmarks. But in Holy the Firm, which I apparently can’t get enough of, Annie Dillard suggests that stumbling with wide-eyed wonder might be the only appropriate response to the vibrant and unpredictable dynamics of life.
“Mornings, when light spreads over the pastures like wings, and fans a secret color into everything, and beats the trees senseless with beauty, so that you can’t tell whether the beauty is in the trees—dazzling in cells like yellow sparks or green flashing waters—or on them—a transfiguring silver air charged with the wings’ invisible motion; mornings, you won’t be able to walk for the power of it: earth’s too round. …then you kneel, clattering with thoughts, ill, or some days erupting, some days holding the altar rail, gripping the brass-bolt altar rail, so you won’t fly.”
Though hers is a celebration of nature and beauty, I’d wager that the future can be anticipated with stunned delight, too.