One week into fall and it's really here now. More gray, less sun, serious rain. I live in Seattle because I like this kind of weather, but the transition from beautiful bright days isn't usually graceful for me. I welcome fall with open arms, then mope around for a bit while I get used to my change of wardrobe, sky-high humidity, and the need for lamps. My struggle with transition is nothing new, which puzzles me because I love to orchestrate getting from here to there. I'm the master of calendars, event planning, and navigating. I get restless with routine, much as I crave it. Why aren't transition and I a natural fit?
The other day my husband inadvertently pinpointed the root of my issue. Refusing to see his parents' condo remodel in progress, he turned to me and said, "I lack the imagination to enjoy transition." At first I felt sorry for him. I love all the details of planning, the thrill of seeing a work in progress and visualizing what it can be and will be someday. Much of my life is spent in dreams of the future (along with analysis of the past). In other words, my imagination is quite alive and well. Seeing what's right in front of me, without any desire to change it, that's not so easy. My husband though, he's the picture of contentment. Life ebbs and flow around him and there he is, just being in it.
As I mulled over his comment, I realized that my imagination, lovely as it is, inhibits my ability to move peacefully through my life as it inevitably shifts and cycles. I have developed such an ability to see something as other than it is that I've become quite clumsy at being right where I am.
Fall is traditionally a season of celebration, of abundance. When I lived in Italy it seemed that each week brought a harvest festival for yet another crop. Everywhere I turned, life seemed full (along with my belly). We equate full bellies with feeling satisfied, so perhaps this is the perfect season to focus on the practice of contentment (in sanskrit, santosha). To savor what is and then let it go as something else takes shape.