Do you know what time of year it is? Here, it’s The Week When The Leaves All Fall Off The Chestnut Tree At Once. If you’ve been to our house, you know how enormous the tree is. It has a lot of leaves. And they’re currently all scattered beautifully on our lawn.
Okay, in a way it is beautiful, and I like the idea of just letting them be. Who decided it’s better to have carefully maintained green grass than to let nature go how it goes? I know, I know, social norms dictate that I take care of the landscaping and keep the yard tidy. So I realize that right now, it just looks messy – not carefree and autumn-y.
But aside from the hours of raking involved in getting the lawn cleared, here’s the real reason I’m leaving the leaves: it brings back painful memories.
Last year, the leaves dutifully fell down in the first week of November. Then it snowed, pretty immediately after. I couldn’t really rake when the yard was covered in a few inches of snow. And we left for our Thanksgiving family reunion in Southern California before the snow melted. Once we got back, of course, the snow was gone and our yard looked painfully embarrassingly unkempt. All those leaves!
But by the following week we had sunny weather again, so I got out the rake, bundled up the kids, and spent about 3 hours clearing the leaves.
The problem: it was just a few days after I’d found out I was pregnant. I was more tired than usual, so the fact that I buckled down and raked for hours was noteworthy.
When I think about that afternoon, it feels heartbreakingly naive and innocent. I was excited for a new baby. I was impressed with myself for doing yard work. I had no idea what anguish the coming months would hold.
I thought by this fall, I’d have a baby at home. I’d talk Jarom into raking the leaves because I’d be inside, bouncing a little one or pulling my hair out because the baby just wouldn’t go to sleep.
It seems like I did well in the time between my due date (early August) and the six-month mark of Christian’s death (late October). These days, though, I can’t help but think of what things were like this time last year – so full of hope and excitement. I miss that. I’m sad it ended so tragically. And I don’t want to rake my leaves.
On my current list of “Super lame baby-related things”:
Persistent morning sickness-like queasiness that is definitely not caused by pregnancy. Sure feels the same, though, and guess what? I don’t like it for a lot of reasons. Mainly because – oh yes, my baby died.
No Halloween costume for a tiny baby this year.
I haven’t had a good night’s sleep in a while, but not from waking up to feed a newborn. Nope, it’s because my dumb dog keeps wanting to go eat grass and bugs in the middle of the night. Really, Ender?
This list should probably be qualified by the admission that I’ve been up all night cleaning and baking for June’s birthday, so my mood isn’t the best to begin with. Adding queasiness on top of that has not been fun.
And now, on with life! Those are all my complaints for the moment.
I’m sitting in a play area and thinking profound thoughts. It’s noisy here, and busy with kids running around (and Evan howling like a werewolf. Or maybe it’s June doing that). Isn’t life always busy? How do you get around that?
I think everyone wants to feel less busy, at one time or another – if not all the time. I know I want to have less clutter in my house, fewer distractions, less time wasted on trivial things and more time enjoying life with my family. But so much gets in the way. I’m not interested in giving up Facebook or blogging, because those keep me connected. At the same time, seeing a continuous stream of updates and busy-ness can be overwhelming. It makes the world seem to move at a frantic pace (which I guess it really does).
So how do I prevent my small corner of the world from moving at a frantic pace? Christian’s death has helped me be able to see what’s essential and truly important in my life, and with a broader perspective, but I still have a lot of trouble paring down to those essential, important pieces. There’s just so much happening. Everything feels hurried and urgent.
I came back on Saturday from a trip to visit my parents in California. It was the first stress-free trip of my adult life. Thank you Zoloft and practiced patience for making it possible – but especially my mom and dad for ten days of no chores, no cooking, no obligations. Plus naps! I feel so much mores relaxed now. And I want to hold onto that relaxed feeling. Do you think that’s achievable? If I limit our tv and internet time, avoid filling our days with outings and activities, try doing everything more slowly – can I get to a place where I don’t feel frantic?
Is it bad to be busy?
What do you think? How do you find quiet in the frantic pace of the world?
P.S. Amish hour has been our best attempt at finding quiet so far. But we haven’t been very good about doing it lately!