“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers”– Anne of Green Gables
we’re glad too. the colors that surround us this time of the year are spectacular and ever changing – painting a landscape that we get to rediscover daily. we cherish that the apple orchard, trees heavy with crisp, cool fruit, is now five minutes from our rural home and not the day-trip we grew accustomed to in our urban home. the little one is slowly getting this momma to fill porch stairs with all the pumpkins she tells me she desperately needs from our local farm … and this momma thoughtfully, deliberately, allows one at a time to join the growing pumpkin porch-crew. we walk, we explore, we wrap ourselves in warmer clothing, woolen mittens and sturdy shoes to stave off the incoming autumn crispness that surrounds us. we mindfully spend time as family, connecting and cherishing each other, as the seasons shift around us.
in all of this, we’re settling. the little one is finding her space and place in her school in the woods. she is surrounded there by so many who want to see her succeed, to be cherished, to be supported and, above all, allow her to show us all what she’s made of. her afterschool program allows her to explore their farm and certified ‘outdoor classroom’, brings her on weekly field trips to apple pick, weave through corn mazes, go bowling, lend a literal helping hand while the younger set has a bike-a-thon. she is enveloped in community — a community that embraces her for who she is, not what she can’t do, but for the beauty she brings to the collective table.
I am the momma who is often left with happy tears brimming in my eyes watching this generosity of spirit, this amazing community, embrace us all … but especially for the little one who has struggled to find connection with such an inclusive community.
tonight is the school’s annual ‘pumpkin stroll’ where each child at the school in the woods gets their own pumpkin to carve. the pumpkins? well, they were grown in the school’s pumpkin patch from seedlings started last year by the children – this full-circle theme is one this school does so well. the children will deliver their pumpkins today and parent volunteers will line the path from the school’s sugar shack through the woods and back down to the fields with the hundreds of carved, lit, pumpkins (the local university students come to light the pumpkins and join us all). we will walk hand in hand tonight, as a family and as a school community, in awe of what we’re all creating. we’ll stop at the fire pit to warm ourselves, body and soul. we’ll listen to the story-tellers, purchase 25-cent bags of popcorn and warm cider, spend time with the families and educators who make this momma grateful, oh-so-grateful, for all they give. this … this is our community now.
we are settling. we are exhaling – slowly, mindfully, deliberately. we are embracing this new world for us and are so aware of our gratitude for the October that surrounds us.