Having been in this house for a full circle around the sun, I am feeling the deep routine that is paved out in the land of seasons. Living in a place with four, (or five depending on who you talk to), very distinct seasons, makes all the anticipated firsts and lasts very clear and obvious as they come and go. Of course unless they don’t. Because that happens too. I often find myself staring at my boys and wondering, “Is that the last time I will ever see you crawl?”, “Is that the last time you will need me to kiss an injury?”, or the last time I will ever hear you say “wuv you” before you grow so big your tongue fits into your mouth the right way and “love” comes pouring instead? I wonder. I wonder it when I am shutting my windows when the cold air starts blowing in. I wonder it when I put on holey socks. When I snuggle my cats. When I close a chapter book tucked in with my boys.
And then something new seeps in. A new something that I never expected. A ritual that appeared without preparation or expectation. And the way of the old is a little fog in the back of my mind, surely to surface when I am an elderly lady in my rocker, warming my old bones by the fire. Then I will remember. I will remember the smell of a sweet little boy and the soft wet cheeks of these humans on my own. And I will remember the ache in my back and how it was absolutely caused by all the grief they gave me. And I am sure I will smile. At least a little.
I made my first fire in the wood stove for the season this past weekend. The warmth on the soles of feet made me moan with gratefulness when I remembered the joy of that radiating heat. I brought in all my house plants last night when I noticed the frost was beginning to creep up the hill. The house will have to be oxygenated with the occasional warm day, the chance of a door left open, and all these tropicals perched in the windows, waiting patiently for the return of long days.
Pie in the oven.
Spiders back in their rightful places (hiding!).
The craft room in use.
Cold weather is coming.
And I am ready.