I have been thinking of the shortening of the days, of the turning of the seasons. It is not yet Winter, but definitely not Summer. I really love Autumn in North West Texas. I want to spend my days in the sun listening to the wind in the leaves and my nights pondering the heavens. But the shortening of the days is not all happiness and light. Not at all.
The days are shortening. It feels as if part of my life is shrinking while another, more isolated, part of my life is expanding. My thoughts turn to night and processing all that has happened in recent history. I think more on my ancestors and what life must have been like for them out here in the “wild west” in the 1800s. I listen to the bumps in the night and realize that as the days are shortening, so is my life. I have been pondering my eventual demise.
I’m not exactly depressed, though my thoughts are darkening. I am assessing and evaluating. I’m pulling inside into my memories and emotions in order to understand my life and myself. I feel this state of mind fits the season as much as dancing in the leaves.
I realized, this morning, that my world is shrinking. Even as I am able to converse with someone on the other side of the world, my physical world is much smaller than I am used to it being. Now I am unlikely to be more than 30 miles from my home whereas in times past you might find me on the coast in upstate Washington for Thanksgiving and Las Angeles for the Fourth of July. In between I might have been to each coast four or five times. I have long identified as a gypsy, a wanderer. This is no longer true in the physical sense.
Unless I have a doctor’s appointment, or we visit family, I go more than six blocks from my house maybe twice a month. That puts me being beyond a mile radius from my house 26 days a year, more or less a day or two. I miss the travel, the exploration, the new experiences. My life is shrinking in other ways too.
On a normal day I encounter three or four other humans. This is including telephone calls. I never was one for having a lot of friends. But I had a lot of acquaintances that I saw on at least a weekly basis. This was mostly because of my work and Melissa’s school activities. That, combined with a large group of family and friends, led me to become accustomed to having a lot of people around a lot of the time. This is quite the change for me. To be this isolated is frightening. I find myself much more dependent on the few friends I do have. There is one in this town, other than my husband, that I feel I can depend on being there for me if I need someone. I guess that’s been the case for most of my life, but I find myself coming to the Autumn of my life needing more friends.
I feel the need for social interactions as the nights lengthen. My darling husband tries to be supportive of me. He really tries to take care of me. But he and I don’t seem to be able to figure out how to meet my need for long rambling conversations. I am seeking ways to have more social interaction with women I might be able to form a friendship with based on common interests. Church does not strike me as the place for me to do that. I moved away from the church many years ago. It began by the time I was 12. A fitness club might offer me a chance to meet others, but I am so out of shape I need to start with simply walking and stretching, and I don’t really have the finances to pay for a membership. Finances prevent me from seeking out other classes I might be interested in taking. Most of my interests are rather expensive in the supplies department. I can’t begin to figure how much it would cost to start painting again. Where am I to meet these potential friends?
What plans can I make during the long nights to come that will help me reach my goals come next harvest? What seeds do I want to plant come Spring? What bulbs need to be going in the ground now for my garden of life to be blooming with the thaw?
Yes, I believe I enjoy Autumn with it’s descent into darkness.