October Through the iPhone
Et tu, October?
That first picture is my new favorite of the Man Cub. It also kind of sums up October for us. I think I had that exact expression on my face most of the time: that, “ID even K what I’m looking at right now.” I’d write about how weird October was, and how appropriate the dinosaur costume and the inappropriate tool in his hand are … but I think I’ve completely lost sight of “normal” anyway. Every month I think, “Well that was weird, but we’ll be back to normal soon.”
What is normal?
October is all about changes in our area, and I always hate to see summer go. But those familiar fall traditions kick in too. There’s a certain comfort in unpacking hoodies and hats, in the beautiful foliage, cheap apples, and farms and fests with their petting zoos and pumpkin patches. The smell of burning leaves. The flavors that are forever limited to fall: apple cider, pumpkin donuts, cranberries.
And it occurs to me that the reassuring sameness doesn’t happen in the absence of change and upheaval, but in the midst of it.
In the middle of the turmoil and uneasiness, we experience these steady unchangeables. They are little things — apple cider doesn’t provide job security, and my favorite sweater has zero health benefits — but their quiet faithfulness is comforting. They remind me that change itself is normal. That we’ve overcome challenges and survived difficulties before, and we’ll do it again and again.
He prepares a table for me in the midst of my enemies. Psalm 23 does not promise a celebratory feast when the enemies and the challenges have been overcome, and everything is back to “normal.” It’s now.
October teaches me to rest in the comforts inherent in the chaos. To bake birthday cakes and crusty breads when the evenings get cold. To take walks where the leaves are brightest and the apples are crisp, and to try to hug the goats every chance we get.
And when I feel like crying at the chaos, I will. When I need to eat left-over cake for breakfast before the baby is up, I will.
In-between, I will try to remember to celebrate in the midst of the craziness because really — life is just crazy. I will try to remember not to live for the hope of peace and stability that’s always just around the corner, but to focus on the beauty of the changes I am in the middle of. I will hold my son’s hand and teach him about seasons. I will relish the little pleasures that will disappear when the turmoil does settle, and I will consume my weight in apple cider.