“I was born in February, but I come alive in October” -Rainbow Rowell, Attachments
I’ve been in an unexpectedly internal and inward place the past several weeks. There is so much churning just below the surface, words and concepts just beyond my grasp, that are simply not ripe enough to write on. I’ve had so many ideas, started so many posts, only to abandon them mid-thought.It’s been to my frustration, but it’s also simply the plight of the earnest writer. I can’t write what does not feel true, feel necessary, feel right. I don’t want to put anything out there that only serves to fill the space. Sometimes that means I have to go dark for awhile. For my own head and heart to process and wait for the rising tide, a crashing wave, to bring the nutrients of my inner self to the surface.
October is a big month. The start of autumn, the launch of “holiday season”, the month that feels the most precious, holds the most promise. The month that holds us all on the brink of seasonal joy or seasonal depression.
It is also a month that holds some of the hardest and darkest days for my family, and the most joyous and beautiful days, too. Balancing births and deaths more tenuously than any other month, any other season, in my life.
I lost two beloved aunts in October. I have gained a beloved niece (with one more due any day now) and nephew in October. It is a month of piercing loss and healing joy. A time that demands pause, reverence, and meditative work.
It is a deeply personal, internal month. A month I always find myself going inward, taking inventory of what needs nourishing within myself, taking stock of the abundance of blessings I have, what sorrows I must tend to, what pain I can and can’t yet let go of. I assess myself, my internal work still left to do, not unlike the way I look at my goals around my birthday, but more in line with my soul’s purpose, my heart’s yearnings, my prayers yet unanswered.
This happens annually, as if on a predestined timer, yet I’m surprised every time. It wasn’t until I escaped to my hometown this past week (due to the horrible air quality brought on in my area by the devastating nor cal wildfires) that I even realized this was going on within me. Sitting in the quiet, under the stars, cozy in a blanket against the chilly October air, I felt questions and memories and yearnings long pushed aside, open up inside me like clams in boiling water. I needed just the right environment for these pieces to open and reveal themselves.
I’m attempting to unlock the mystery of myself, the one who feels she has so much left to do, so much further to go, but feels stuck at the same time. The one who felt so small, yet acutely alive and loved in her youth. The one who so desperately needed to escape the rupture of her family in her youth, that she inadvertently escaped and avoided the shaping of herself for far too long. The one who is envious of anyone who is sure about anything. The one who longs to guide me. The one who needs me to work day in and day out to put her heart at ease.
I have few answers, but I’m getting closer. Better to have words for the questions, than just a sense of unrest. Better to follow instincts, than sit in the caution of risk. By going to my hometown, breathing the clean orange-scented air, and stepping once again in to the heart of my younger, more innocent, more vulnerable self, the one who used to look up at those same stars, I am one October closer to myself.