I sometimes wonder if I didn’t know the date, would I know if a day like today belonged in the Spring of the year or the Autumn of the year? ( And no peeking, either, because the leaves would give it away.)
I think I would.
Spring is moist. It’s softer. It bespeaks of things unfolding and coming eagerly alive. It feels like forward momentum. Beginnings. Newness. Rebirth. A home coming for Persephone, returning from the Underworld. Demeter is putting on her party clothes.
And Autumn is post-Harvest. Preparation….getting warm and cozy. Baking. Turning inwards. Contemplation and candlelight. Closing up shop. Putting away the beach umbrellas and the Adirondack chairs. Slowing of the sap. Hibernation. Persephone returns to her husband in the Underworld. Demeter mourns.
I dunno….Demeter doesn’t sound too healthy. Perhaps a little too focused on her daughter? A bit of a mother hen? Maybe Persephone likes getting away from her.
I’d love to give Demeter a pep talk.
Something like—Hey, Demeter, your daughter’s shacking up with her hot husband for half the year. She’s having a great time. And you are still a lovely goddess in your own right. Chill out a bit. You’re off mothering duty. No responsibilities! You’ve got six months to get back in touch with yourself. Get your groove back, girl! Call up the girl friends. Throw a party. Go get a Cosmo and enjoy the bright lights of the city. Take in a show. Laugh! Have an adventure! Your little girl’s doing just fine and she’ll be back before you know it. In the meantime…wow, what an opportunity you’ve got!
Or…just go outside and enjoy this beautiful Autumn day.
Speaking of Mother Hens…..my older brother named my Mom “Cluck Cluck” because she was a boundary pusher…meaning, she never really let go or allowed us the respect that an adult child deserves. And when she was older and alone, she lived a lot through her children….to the extreme. But enough of the arm chair psychology….I had a mini-ah-ha moment yesterday.
I was going through old paperwork that needed to be sorted through. I came across a packet with my name on it in my Mom’s handwriting. Inside the packet were bits of papers where she’d scrawled notes and observations of me when I was a baby…things like how old I was when my first tooth came in or when I crawled or how I refused to eat anything other than pudding by myself and how it took forever to ween me off the bottle (maybe that’s why medifast works so well for me….it’s liquids all day!!!) She also had jotted down my reactions to things–the new baby brother or playing with my older brother.
Since I didn’t remember any of this, I was really enjoying going through it all; comparing my behavior now to my behavior then and picking out what was learned and what I was born with. (I’ve a pet belief that there’s a fundamental “Me-ness” that is there at birth before any learned beliefs/behaviors overlay that fundamental “Me-ness.”)
But then it struck me. What I was reading was my Mom’s truth–her interpretation of my behavior and reactions to events. I actually will never, ever know my true reaction and how I really felt at the moment described in those little bits of paper. And if I could go back there in a time machine? I’d be observing myself with my 55-year-old perceptions and learned beliefs. So I’d still never know.
It’s all just a story, isn’t it? Our lives, I mean. Things happen to us and we tell stories about them. We think thoughts, feel feelings and tell stores about what those thoughts and feelings mean. We’re telling stories all the time. We’re living in one big StoryLand populated with StoryTellers.
How in the world did I get on this subject anyway? Geez!
One thought on “A Beautiful Autumn Day”
Wow, Cammy, I think this may be the best thing you’ve ever written!
I completely love your suggestions for Demeter, laughed my head off. And your insights about perceptions and stories are wise, profound and life-changing.
Terrrific, really! More! More!