Life Lessons

In-Between Times

Soft autumn light colored the world this morning. I hurried outside to see dawn, not satisfied with my window’s limitations. Hushed pinks, purples, and oranges filled the sky while little cloud puffs floated within. Altocumulus jellyfish suspended in the expansive sea of blue.

Today’s calendar turns toward the first day of fall. Whether it feels accurate or not, the season’s change is upon us. Autumn. It conjures thoughts of crisp apples and clear air. Full moons and evening football games.

img_1159Only it hasn’t felt “fallish” to me yet. It’s true the oppressive summer humidity is gone. The nights have been beautiful with cool night air streaming through the windows. Yet the days remain warm and summery…sandals and sleeveless shirt weather.

It feels a bit confusing, like an identity crisis or a tangled relationship. The child in me longs to believe it’s still summer, while the adult in me knows we are racing toward the first frost.

It’s the in-between time. Something that almost is, yet hasn’t fully become. img_2816

I struggle adjusting to in-between times. To combat this, I’ve learned to pay attention. Finding the gifts in each moment helps me with uncomfortable transitions.

So I focus on mindfulness. I adore the soft autumn light, especially at dawn and dusk. I delight in the crickets constant chirping and the hummingbirds darting around my feeder. I appreciate the return of family routines—family meals, earlier bedtimes, school schedules—as well as the midday quiet which makes writing so much easier for me.

I revel in this season’s abundance. Stalls at the farmer’s market overflow with harvest. I love the red/green/red/green line up of zucchinis-tomatoes-cucumbers-peppers. I smile as rows of golden and russet mums greet me as they flank church entries, line grocery store fronts, and fill office building planters. I savor being outdoors without summer’s heavy heat and enjoy sipping morning coffee in my bare feet. When afternoon school buses rumble by, I’m lightened by the sounds of children returning home to laugh and play and argue ‘til homework or parents call them home.

There is much to love in each moment…even if it’s brief. And while in-betweens can feel expectant—almost itchy to my soul—I’m going to focus on what is right now, rather than what may be down the path. img_2814

That surreal sunrise this morning with those balloon-like jelly fish clouds? It changed quickly. If I’d hesitated, I would have missed those water vapor paratroopers descending from the heavens. So if I can only fully enjoy one moment at a time, why would I think ahead? 

Instead, I’ll be present now.