I have no regrets about our summer, looking back I can replay so many shimmering memories of swimming with the girls, hunting for sticks to ‘marsh the mallows‘, and diving beneath the sparkling lake water to scour the shallow shores for driftwood. Each day has a soundtrack that makes me proud as the echoes play of having arrived at milestones hand-in-hand: swimming without life jackets, jumping off the back of the boat into bottomless bays and speeding down the treefort slide. I’ll admit that each autumn brings a pang of sorrow as I put away frocks that have run out of sisters to share them, wee little bits of memory-charged fabric go to a donate pile or a reverence heap.

This year though, this year I ache to start a new season. I’ve made peace with the spirits I will lay to rest so that they may decompose and find new life in the spring. Some are hopes, others are hurts. I feel the tide pulling them toward a different place and in doing so they liberate my heart. Understanding myself and my family in this deeper sense allows me to see our weaknesses, but more than that I see our strengths. Perhaps the one I feel the most keenly is accepting what is real.

The things I’ve chased, from wanting to make it all work to getting to the other side of something have been futile. This new season I crane my being towards is living in the understanding that it’s this moment. It’s the beautiful halo of sunshine around Finley, ignoring the dust, seeing past the crusted cream cheese behind her ear. It’s laughing at the toothpaste that has found its way to the toilet seat, doorknob and back pocket of my jeans. It’s swatting Sean’s hands from my chest in the kitchen and then melting into post-bedtime embrace that takes me back to our earliest days. It’s dropping the rake and planting a wet kiss on Sean and having him pull leaves from my hair as he looks at me with tender eyes.

There isn’t a perfect time, there isn’t a mess-free way and then there it is:

The perfect is in the mess.

Don’t fear the snow or letting go, dive headfirst into right now and all its dusty, brilliant glory.

Home sick