This one is dedicated to my friends Charity and Jax….
Autumn has arrived, and the changing of the seasons merits some notice.
I have to say this first: call me a sucker for a holiday-themed fast food treat, but if you live near a Sonic, go right now and get their Pumpkin Pie milkshake. It’s delicious, and in my stomach’s opinion, connects the seasons perfectly. I had one last night after a run, which brings me to my next point:
Autumn running is darn near unparalleled. These weeks offer cooler weather, while still not shirking on daylight (that doesn’t happen for over a month yet, thank goodness) and for the most part, Albuquerque runners are spared the steady and pollen-filled winds of springtime. With the kinder outdoor conditions, I can actually sleep in a little on the weekends and not suffer for it on long runs. It feels gloriously decadent. Mind you, I do appreciate running early enough to see a pretty sunrise and mist-shrouded mountains, but frankly it’s nice sometimes to just…not.
And tomorrow will bring something even more exciting than “forgetting” to set my alarm clock: the Corrales Harvest Festival! For all of you non-Abq residents, Corrales is a small, rural community that snuggles right up to our city limits. I love visiting the place, and I LOVE a good festival – plus, I’m going with a friend who I haven’t seen in a while with a similar appreciation for both.
But in the midst of all this cavorting, I have to give a nod to traditional Autumnal reflection. I’ll point out here that a Pumpkin Pie milkshake makes a very serviceable drink to reflect over.
Harvest time for farmers means collecting what the year has produced so far and storing it away for future use. It’s a time of calling it a season and letting the soil take a break. It’s a time of transition, and those lead, always and peskily, to questions. I came up with a couple over my milkshake:
a) What has this year produced that’s worth storing away?
b) What will be given a break?
c) How do I best reap this year’s events thus far – whether good or bad, fun or miserable?
I thought about my first nine months of 2011 and what they’ve yielded: Relationships, with fun moments and miserable ones. Running, with fun moments and miserable ones. Friendships – luckily, no miserable moments there. And that got me thinking about my friends, and events in their respective years that I’ve witnessed: wonderful things, like new babies and huge running PRs; and sad things, like divorces.
I think it is absolutely worth pausing to gather things (thoughts? emotions? energy?) before gearing up for the last three months of the year. And even though my milkshake didn’t have all the answers, I’ve figured out this much:
Change is not always a bad thing. Sometimes it’s nothing short of vital. Whatever has happened, good or bad, over the past three seasons will leave the ground stronger and better for the next one.
In the meantime, there are milkshakes, and festivals, and running.