One of Mama Kat’s writing prompts this week intrigued me for a reason that was difficult to articulate even to myself, until I did the work. She asked us to share what we had blogged about this time last year, and the year before, etcetera. After taking a look I realized that this month of seasonal transition has historically delivered quite a punch. Just when Oklahoma’s weather is mellowing out and the gardens are slowing to an easy pace, I get my own personal little hurricane season. It’s not all been bad or painful, of course; sometimes change is exactly what we need. And even pain can be fruitful.
October last year was like emotional excavation. I remember loving the outdoors daily and feeling aware of my age but happy. Klaus was growing fast and Jocelyn was settling into a new chapter in Colorado, and I was all about the slow decay of nature, the passage of time. I was dreaming heavily about Jessica, just as I am this October. This post called Lovelier Than Perfection was short and sweet. But then a strong wave of nostalgia and empty-nest pain crashed into me and I wrote this. A month before some stuff had happened in our marriage that caused such deep and lasting hurt between us that I can hardly believe it was a full year ago. Remember the Super Moon? It more or less coincided with those events that are still a tender bruise to us. Or at least to me. And October was when I started releasing it all. Whew.
October two years ago was when our tomcat Geoffrey got stuck. It was also when Jocelyn was visiting the farm and we made some pretty gorgeous memories like the ones shared here. As happens when the weather changes, I also had to claw my way out of the pit of deep despair and back into the light. But I was also baking these cookies and reminiscing about early motherhood and my Grandpa. See? HURRICANE.
October 2013 was when we lost my husband’s mother. Hers was a sudden death, though she had not been well or happy (stress-free) for a long time. The years and months and days and hours since have been a mix of pain and healing, anxious awareness of stress levels and heart health (my husband’s in particular), and filling the many holes left by grief that big. That same month, of course, we tried to rally our spirits to help my parents celebrate a milestone wedding anniversary, and my goodness how life has tested them in the few years since. October 2013 was hard. Beautiful in the ways that helped us survive, but hard.
The October before that, we hosted a really fun family dinner here at the farm to celebrate my Dad’s 55th birthday! We all laughed hard with each other and ate lasagna with all the trimmings followed by a butter-pecan layer cake with cream cheese frosting. I love my Dad so much and hope we get to celebrate his birthday again this year! Fingers crossed that he just cannot live without this cake again.
Also in 2012 was a pretty memorable book club event that included an out of town guest author, Jen Luitweiler She drove all the way from Tulsa to the farm to meet most of our group at that time and answer a thousand-hundred-million questions about her book Run With Me. We ate and talked and listened and ate and smiled until it hurt. (I feel like pointing out that this was a several months before I started training for my first half marathon! Long time ago. Ancient history.)
Going back much further would plunge us into pre-blogging Octobers and a family life that was filled with a mix of volleyball and homework, suddenly vacant little girl bedrooms, an abundance of friendships to distract us, newborn babies, road trips, fledgling gardens, rent houses and used car purchases, art projects, slumber parties, and terrifying hospital stays. Not in that order. I kind of wish I had been blogging all along, just to digest again the best and worst parts of life.
As much as I crave and relish the details of any big season change, clearly it tends to be a mixed blessing. And that’s okay. For all its difficulties, life continues to look and feel more beautiful every October.
Thanks for the walk down memory lane, Kat! See you on Snap-Chat. You are so cute as the deer.
“We write to taste life twice,
In the moment and in retrospect.”