A week after the official start of autumn, and it’s cooler. Won’t get into the 70s today, and the sun keeps getting swept behind the clouds by the wind. It’s going to stay in the 40s at night and not get above the 60s much from this point on. I admit to some regrets that we didn’t settle in Hawaii sometimes. But the wetter weather that is on the horizon (literally, I can see the clouds coming) heralds one of the best times of year for me: harvest time, the turning of the year to a time of connection between past and future with the “now” at the fulcrum. A time to take stock of where we are in our lives and look at what we really want or ought to do.

I am taking it easy, my last day of freedom before my classes begin. I slept in, woke to listen to the radio and read email and news online. Played some of my favorite online games. Going to read for a while. Thinking about getting the rest of the workbench cleared off this afternoon… got the desk in working order last night.

I am ready for tomorrow, will check through everything one more time this evening, and put it in the car. Undecided what I should wear… will take some foods that I know to be safe since it’s an all-day retreat and I am always nervous when I don’t know what a kitchen staff is like. I might ask to drive in with Tom tomorrow — the retreat is near his office. A little time with the person who is being most affected by my time back in school. He is so patient and calm, a solid rock for my antics.

The children are off at school — so far they seem to be doing fine. Will know more in a couple weeks, once the full impact of the three college classes (a full load) hits the elder child. They are being good about pitching in with a few extra chores, and the house is not “clean” but livable again. We’ll keep working on it.

I helped several times at the younger child’s school last week, since it was lovely weather and I had the time. I will miss being there on a regular basis. But, I keep reminding myself that it’s okay for me to take these two years for myself, to learn and grow and get prepared for the second (third?) phase of my life.

Growing older doesn’t mean we have to stop learning, stop improving, or stop reaching for the rainbow.

As the sun casts longer shadows through the days, as the plants and animals get ready for hibernation, I wish you all the opportunity for rest, for reflection and for recreation. Don’t forget to play!

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