October first is here, so I think it is safe to say that the summer of 2020 has come to an end. The leaves are changing colors, sweatshirts are making their way out of drawers, pumpkin is being consumed in every way possible and Halloween costumes are a regular topic of dinner conversation. For us, our children are also back in school, but for all of us, a pandemic rages on, leaving sickness and sorrow in its path.
A mixed bag, if there ever was one. I love, love, love the fall in New England, but it continues to be hard to enjoy it, or anything, to the fullest in a world full of so much anxiety, the unknown, constantly in the back of my mind.
We had a really lovely summer. It makes me feel guilty to say, and I am fully aware that this summer's joy was not there for many others. Working from home gave us a flexibility we have never had as a family, we could meet our work obligations from anywhere, so we did. Cape Cod, Maine, New Hampshire - New England was our oyster and our bubble family was there to shuck it open with us. We had more beach days than I can count, so much ice cream before dinner and zero rushing around for commuting and camps and in-person obligations. For someone who thrives off of a packed schedule, I found a groove in the slower days, filled with unplanned walks, sidewalk chalk art and porch visits from neighbors.
As summer began to wind down and restrictions began to ease we found ourselves back in places we missed so much: the dance studio, classrooms, yoga class and friends' backyards. While remaining ever vigilant behind masks and layers of hand sanitizer, we have slowly begun to fill the calendar with both obligations and fall traditions: apple picking, pumpkin carving, leaf peeping. This fall will look a lot different than before, but my greatest priority remains creating magic, stability and love for our children, our home and our friends; to be a calming voice for others and lean on them when my own head is overwhelmed with the fear of the future, the utter unknown.
Thank you, summer, for giving us so much sunshine, for keeping us and our loved ones healthy, for the privilege to continue working in jobs that we love, for giving us an opportunity to realize that our little family, in this wonderful neighborhood, surrounded by loving friends, is more than enough in even the darkest of times.
Alright, fall, let's do this.