The foliage has been losing its freshness through the month of August, and here and there a yellow leaf shows itself like the first gray hair amidst the locks of a beauty who has seen one season too many.... September is dressing herself in showy dahlias and splendid marigolds and starry zinnias. October, the extravagant sister, has ordered an immense amount of the most gorgeous forest tapestry for her grand reception.
~Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809–1894), "Autumn," The Atlantic Almanac, 1868
A Most Merry Autumn to You, my dear, dear readers! I, for one, am thrilled that the burnt orange season is upon us. Here in Staten Island, NY, the trees are just starting to change and the squirrels are frantically gathering nuts for the coming winter. By the looks of their fluffy tails and how busy they are, we might be in for a cold and snowy season. The weather has turned surprising cool these last few weeks, especially at night. We haven't had to turn on the air conditioner the entire month of September! This is unusual for NYC where it doesn't start getting chilly until October. I'm not complaining, mind you. We've been able to leave our windows open and have been cuddling under a light quilt at night. It's been glorious!
|Mask ordered from Modern Millie, Salem MA.|
Change is everywhere we look these days. From the gorgeous changing landscape to the hair on my head, I have deeply and utterly embraced change this year. Maybe it's my age or maybe it's the pandemic ... or both ... but I've been acutely aware of my mortality. Turning 48 in the middle of a pandemic that has killed 204,000 Americans at the time of writing this blog post can really make you introspective. Considering the ages of my parents and grandparents when they died, I have between 20 and 45 more years left to live. I don't want to waste my time on things that don't make me happy and fulfilled. I don't want to waste my time on people who make me miserable or who use me for their own personal gain. I don't want to waste my time working on other people's projects. And I certainly don't want to live in a place that makes me utterly miserable.
|High Rock Park, Staten Island, on Mabon|
I am in my Croning and it feels wonderful. I thought I was free-spirited and badass before. HA! I am in the process of becoming a raw and more powerful version of myself. These past few months have forced me to focus on what really matters and I have to say, it's been liberating. I really like who I am becoming. I want to get to know this person. I want to treat her gently and take care of her. I want to nourish her heart and soul as she embarks on this new adventure into the Autumn of her life.
|The first bits of orange and red spotted on Mabon|
The significance of Mabon and its meaning was not lost on me this year. Usually, I celebrate it as a yearly fact of life. This year it was deeply personal. As Oliver Wendell Holmes stated in his essay for The Atlantic Almanac, 1868, these first bits of color are akin to the first gray hairs on my head. Like the landscape around me, my own Autumn is beginning. And like the trees in Autumn, I am determined to spend the next 20 to 45 years filled with raucous color and excitement.
|Mabon afternoon sun caught in the oak trees|
With all that said, Ed and I have decided to move to Salem, MA early next year. I've already reached out to realtors and I've been applying to all sorts of fun jobs in my field and somewhat outside of my field. We lived in Salem in 1998-2000 and moved back to NYC to take care of my Mom, who was becoming more fragile. Our move back home also allowed me to finish my graduate work. We always regretted moving back to NYC. Whelp, it's time to find our forever home in the place that we feel happiest -- Salem. Just writing those words is making me smile. Salem! Good grief, I can't wait to be home! I can't wait to watch the boats come in and out of the harbor. I can't wait for our first snow storm! And my first cup of chowder. sigh ... Salem.
|The last gasp of Summer.|
Even though I am applying for jobs, I am also writing a business plan for my own gallery. I have no idea if this will come to fruition, but it's worth the exercise. I'd like to carry rare books, prints, illustrations, and other ephemera. I already have an idea of what my first exhibition would look like! We'll see. I have a few people to contact to get some advice about this and I will be virtually attending business classes at the NYPL.
|Where the Earth Meets the Sky|
I am a firm believer in True Will. I honestly believe that, if I'm where I should be and doing what I am meant to do, everything will fall into place. These past few years have felt like I was struggling against the Universe and my own Will ... never a good thing. The minute we put these plans into action, everything started to fall into place. Yes, it's going to be a challenge to move to another state ... again. Yes, it will be in the middle of the Winter and early Spring. Yes, there might be snow. But we will be in the place we adore. Everything will fall into place. I just know it.
|Very happy that we get to grow old together.|
Yes, this is the season of change and change is glorious!