I drove down the mountain we live on last week into the neighborhood below and saw pumpkin décor lining the exterior of one of the best-groomed yards on the block. As a lover of summer and warm weather, I shuddered. Eh, pumpkins in August--- I’m SO not ready!
Don’t get me wrong I get it, cool nights, sweatshirts and campfires, football--- for those of you die-hard PSL gals, it’s your dream season!
I’m a bit jaded by fall, and have a love/hate relationship with it. For the better part of my adulthood I had to travel for work extensively from September-November. The season for me is associated with fast paced days, living out of a suitcase, seeing the change of the season out of a state car window, and being away from routine with my family. While those demands lessened over my career, the deep jaded wounds are still there.
I think what truly made me cringe seeing that autumn décor the last week of August was the rush ahead mentality. Planners may criticize this thought, and this inability to jump on board with fall décor now. But for me it’s something about being present and not rushing life.
Anyone with young children gets this--- I don’t want to rush ahead, I want to savor. I want to savor one last swim in the backyard pool—one last hot day with a popsicle in hand, one last neighborhood walk without a jacket. These little things, this chapter of life I have now-- with elementary aged school children has been a blur, and I want to savor it all with eyes wide open.
One of my favorite authors, Shauna Niequist writes about being Present Over Perfect (if you haven’t read this book or listened to the audio version, you need to). This is a philosophy rich with meaning especially for mothers who work outside of the home. I feel a guilty tug of conviction reading those words PRESENT OVER PERFECT, but also the freedom to let go and be. Be perfectly imperfect, but present. I STRUGGLE with this concept daily, weekly, okay-- hourly. But if we put the pumpkins up in August, we aren’t drinking in the season. For gardeners or even just food consumers, it’s like our lives are full and rich in tomato growing season but we are tired of tomatoes and want a kiwi that has to be imported. Living now, living here with what’s around us is so important, at least to me.
So, as for our family--- from July 4th – Labor Day we have patriotic décor, summer flowers (even though they are wilting a bit) in the pots at our entrance way, and we WILL savor this season. Mid-September we will welcome fall. I will put up the harvest décor, and break out my favorite sweet cinnamon pumpkin hand soap, and try my best to cheer on the Washington Football team (that’s another set of thoughts for another day).
Until then, grab a popsicle or ice cream cone, put the windows down and soak in the present. This is my encouragement to myself, and to all of you who happen to stumble upon this little outlet of expression.
*For those of you not residing in the Mid-Atlantic region, I know this entire read is laughable to you. We are Marylanders and truly do live deeply in seasons.
On the photography side of life, I have enjoyed getting out in the sunflower field for senior portraits and doing some family photography as well. Here is a little glimpse behind the scenes for you and of some recent work. Thanks as always for the support and interest in my life as a photographer and beyond.