Monday, September 22, 2008

Bouquet of Pencils

School begins. That means tuition, books, busy-ness, and stress. Ryan is taking 12 credits and I am taking 6. Small loads for both of us, but we're still quite busy. It seems that, even though we have less overall to do, there is so much to think about and work on and get done that we still don't have enough time in the day. We're both working, still, and somehow have not yet managed to get our house cleaned from when we moved in. We'll get there- each week we make progress, but it's slow going.

But books and paper and pencils and binders and all the indicators of the tedium to come also bring the joys of fall. The leaves have started to turn, and just two days ago I found myself on horseback up in the mountains with my friends. We found gorgeous meadows and bright colors and even a raincloud or two. Ryan and I have not completely stopped sleeping with the swamp cooler on, but I wear layers and long sleeves in the mornings, now, and have begun dreaming of the cozy inside evenings of winter. I look forward to the sound of rain on the roof, to coming home from work and snuggling on the couch with my husband while we read, or making hot chocolate to warm us both up. Soon I'll be able to light candles in the evenings, and as soon as I get my to-do list finished, I can again try to create the things that have been blossoming in my head.

There is something about the seasons turning colder that makes me think of family. Perhaps it is that we do so much to keep warm, and part of that means being physically closer to one another. Perhaps it is the traditions- Thanksgiving, Christmas, warm meals shared and good times had despite the cold outside. Maybe it's because it gets dark sooner, enticing people to come inside and play games, read books, or talk.

This will be my first winter to spend married. This year, when I cook warm soups and breads, there is someone who will appreciate them. This year, when I come home from work frozen from head to toe, there will be someone to wrap me up in a blanket and hold me until I get warm. This year, when the first snow falls, there will be somebody special in my life who will get excited and want to go play.

There is much to be said for Summer, to be sure. People emerge from their homes and explore the world around them. Friendships are made. Flowers bloom and the world comes to life. It is truly wonderful. For me, Winter has always held an inexplicable magic, unrivaled even by the new life of Spring. Winter means warmth, spirituality, firelight and family. For me, Winter brings to life all the deep joys of friendship, giving, and love.