It may sound odd, but I’ve always found autumn to be just a little bit depressing. I do love the crisp, cool air; the beautiful colors of the turning leaves, and the pumpkins and gourds that are used to decorate our houses and yards. But even while I’m enjoying all the good things that autumn brings, I also feel an underlying sense of sadness and loss. The days are getting shorter, those beautiful leaves are going to fall to the ground and leave the trees stark and bare, and I know that cool, crisp air is soon going to be replaced by cold, snow and ice. I’m not a huge fan of winter (it should end the day after Christmas, as far as I am concerned), and so maybe the problem is that I’m just too aware that when autumn comes, winter is not far behind.
If I wanted to get really deep, I would point out that middle age is basically the early autumn of our life, but I try to keep this blog light and positive, so I won’t go there. I will just say that I am at a period of my life when the losses are beginning to pile up, and as a blogger friend of mine so aptly put it, “there are more endings than there are beginnings.”
But this autumn has been an exceptionally good one for me and my family, and I can honestly say that for once, I’m not melancholy or sad. Just last month, we celebrated the wedding of our daughter and our terrific new son-in-law, and that was a joyful, happy occasion for all of us. Yesterday, my son proposed to his long-time girlfriend, which means that not only do we have another wedding to look forward to, but that our family is changing and growing in a very wonderful way.
Yes, being middle aged means that I am sometimes dealing with too many changes that are challenging and sad. But other times, the changes that come to me and my family are very positive, exciting and hopeful, and knowing that both of my children have found a special person to love and share their life with is a change of the very best kind. I know our family will never be the same, but in this case, that’s a good thing.
Last night we gathered at a local restaurant with a small group of friends and family to celebrate the engagement of my son and his new fiancé. We were celebrating the beginning of their new life together, the joining of two families who will support them throughout their journey, and of all the possibilities that the future may bring them. It’s a good, happy and hopeful change for us all. And for me, it’s a powerful reminder that there are still lots of good things in life to come, no matter what the season.