Life is restarting again. Or that's what if feels like. Summer is such a confusing time for people like me, mothers of school-aged children. Because while other people are vacationing, you're wondering where your time to do anything went. Then you feel badly for not enjoying your children. Then you take them to do fun things that turn out to be difficult because the schedule change is hard for them, too, and cranky times happen. So do good times, and my Summer had a fair share of both.
But I'm also a college instructor, so Summer means a break from teaching, if you can call it that. Again, I'm a full-time mother during the day, so sometimes my teaching is my break. For me the smell of chilled air means I have a whirl-wind of tasks I must complete: finish writing my syllabuses, make sure the kids are immunized, fill out paperwork, go to parent orientations, and do the hundreds of other task I normally undertake on top of preparing my children for a routine. I'm not in love with the rush of anxiety that's been my friend as August has come to an end.
But I do love the Fall, both the season, and the fall from summer. We are shedding off the wild times for a more contemplative break, a schedule of thoughtfulness, and that fits my other occupation-writing-very well. My manuscripts are waking up, shaking off the sand that I tossed their way from too many trips to the beach. The warm weather was ripe for fine tuning and editing, but creativity was dormant or pushed to the side for family fun and sun time. My mood is sure to seem more morose, my fingers a frenzy of stories built up, but I'm never sad that the gloom has begun.
To me, Fall is a hot cup of tea, pumpkin-based foods, spices, sitting on hay and reading when it rains. Eating, drinking tea, writing and reading are my favorite things and I don't have to feel badly for staying out of the good weather to pursue them. Or I don't have to pretend to want to get sunburned. I get to run in the rain, write, read and have tea parties with my kids when they get home from doing their things. I get to help them imagine what to be for Halloween, and eat hot, crisp pumpkin seeds.
Blackouts, depression and gloom, as a woman with a mood disorder is sure to be another form my fall takes. But I still can't help but get excited when the wind replaces the sun and the rain drowns out the brown. Even when things die in the Fall, it seems to make sense, and it's a more beautiful, colorful death. Golds and browns and yellows and reds.
It's September and I'm ready to Fall.
H.M. Jones is the author of Monochrome, re-released by Gravity, an imprint of Booktrope. Her short story "Light Storm of 2015" is one of six time travel tales in Masters of Time. She is also a contributing poet to several soon to be released anthologies, including My Cruel Invention and No More Shame, as well as the author of the poetry quartet, Attempting to Define.
For a fall treat, she is releasing a short story entitled "Tiptoe Through Time," available September 20th. She plans on spending the cold weather writing like a mad woman and becoming a NanoWriMo winner. She's working on a YA sci-f/dystopian novel this Fall, and, yes, she might wear a steam pirate hat for kicks. There are no rules to what one can wear in the Fall.