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Arden Raine is an ex-theatrical making sense of life through many lenses.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Cool Down

I have had an extraordinary summer. It's been filled with art, creation, National Parks, day trips, family & joy.
This summer has also been filled with anxiety, depression, sleep deprivation, emotional ping-ponging & guilt. Bucket loads of guilt.
So I find myself reflecting on all the abundance of goodness and how along with the enriching experiences the shadows of doubt and guilt clung to my happiness like Wendy had sewn them together.
The Fall has always been my favorite time of the year. The cooler days are balm to my soul. The horrendous heat plus humidity that is late July through August depletes my energy. I hate being hot. Hate it like wasp stings and eating avocado ( two things that can kill me.) And pumpkin soup can drag me back from the event horizon like nothing else.
I have spent a ton of energy this year encouraging life. Creating art and nurturing plants filled endless hours.
Tending to my family's needs while trying to work through my exhaustion and depression has left me depleted.
So how do we march refreshed into the darker parts of the year when everything around us is curling up to die or going into stasis?
I have always attended a conference in October. This two day event filled with lectures and guest speakers used to fill my needs. But as it has grown more about vendors and less about reason I find I go more to mock and buy rocks than to top off my tank. And though I will go again this year I anticipate that it will become less fulfilling as the years pass.
My Grove work has me thinking towards the darkness. How will the liturgical structure sustain me in the short days ahead when my internal shadows become manifest? I don't have answers. Though the solitary nature of the program leaves me flat.
This is my last full year of intense motherhood and I find it bittersweet. As this time next year the kidlet will begin formal education. In what form that education takes my husband and I still are not certain. But my baby isn't a baby anymore. And each step forward towards independence for the kidlet comes with new struggle and surprise.
So as I try to dump the guilt and wrestle my shadow into submission I am looking forward to the creative boost the fall usually brings. Crafting for the holidays, costumes and tricks for Halloween, new foods for the miriad of feast days and the shutting down of the garden will fill me with joy and equal parts stress.
So this autumn I am going to try turning under my fear and pain. I am going to weed through my beds of guilt and anxiety and prune those noxious growths back with a vengeance. Will it be enough to heal my emptiness?
I am oath taking and experimenting with relationship. I am saying yes where before in the harvests of the past seasons I had always, unthinkingly, said no. This is the lesson my summer bounty has taught me.
I asked earlier this year "How does your garden grow?" But now I ask: "Have you any wool?"
What harvests will nurture your dark days ahead?
How will you preserve your abundance so that you do not face starvation in the coming frigid days?
Will my preparations be enough to hold back the seasonal and situational depressions? I sincerely hope so. And I have more than three bags full.

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