I’m spending this early December thinking of the role I want the Christmas season to play in my adult life. Cocktail parties with gold-speckled champagne flutes? My home full of lights and pine needles, friends, card games, Christmas music and mulled wine? Holding hands by the big Christmas tree downtown on the way to the theater? Or maybe an understated — and decidedly pagan — Yule observance spent by the hearth: soft, warm, quiet.
Christmas is rarely easy, isn’t that so? It isn’t for me, anyway. Expectations. (I guess, much like the ones I’m setting up right now.) Hallmark movies and glittering childhood memories that were never made to be lived up to. Our parents really set us up for a lifetime of disappointment with that Santa Claus thing, didn’t they? No December 25th could ever come close to the magic of a believer’s Christmas Eve, that transcendent moment before you bound down the stairs on Christmas morning. Every Christmas since feels like pressing on a faded bruise, landing on old injury that never healed right. The site of a child’s first betrayal, first broken faith. (If they’re lucky, anyway.)
And so I sit by the tree and nurse every heartbreak of mine that never quite healed with a glass of eggnog and bourbon. I do my best to smile through the stories and the familiar old movies and the platters of cheese. I watch the children and try to feel their joy. I tell myself I’m happy, and I suppose I am, but I am also so very sad.
What I do know is that I want music. Laughter. Warmth. The warmth of bodies, the warmth of a house to be welcomed home to, warmth of the food we share with the people we love. The people who love us in our party dresses the night before and the people who love us the next morning, undereye circles and coffee by the window. Bright white sky, early winter light.
This year, I don’t want to feel the ache of Christmases gone, but maybe that’s part of the deal. Living with the hole that joy leaves in your heart once it’s gone. Gently place a sprig of holly there, say a quiet thanks.
Autumn is truly having its ~moment~. The amount of memes on my timeline about pumpkin/flannel/cider/Hocus Pocus/leaves/anything spooky is at an all-time high. No snark! I love to see people reveling in the season, but I wish I had a little more love for the fall myself. I try to feel it, let the energy infect me — but my heart’s just not in it.
When I try to celebrate pulling my sweaters out of their suitcase, all I feel is creeping dread as I pack my sundresses and sandals away for another winter. Months without feeling the sun warming my shoulders. Never quite being able to warm up. No more people watching while drinking and dining al fresco, no windows open to let in a warm breeze and music from the street. I’ll take a weekend at the lake for the 4th over Halloween weekend any day of the year.
Autumn, for me, is melancholy. It makes me think of dying, of a retreat from joy and light. I’m working to shift my mindset and find ways to find joy in the months to come, but that’s another post.
Right now, I’m just enjoying this gentle transition that October is offering me. Beautiful, cloudless days for walking in the sun. Night slowly creeping into the daytime. Green trees still lush and living, tinged only around the edges with autumn’s palette. I feel her holding my hand, leading me softly into summer’s conclusion. I’m grateful for that: this patience, this grace.
I’m taking time this month to accept and appreciate these last few light-filled gifts of the year. I’ll spend time walking and soaking up the sun, reading and writing on the porch, partaking in and honoring the harvest. I’ll let myself be charged so that I might be better able to radiate that light from within in the coming months, when I’ll need it most.
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Virgo is sexy and possessed. Woman-made lingerie while pouring a glass of wine and buttering a croissant with pesto from the garden over the sink.
Self-reflect. Summer winds down into its best, most dog-day iteration. Long, sweaty evenings watching dusk fade with a chill you haven’t felt in months. The perfect time to introspect.
Fall in love again. Not quite the same love as in the heat of summer (sweat making a tight tee a little see-through, a few too many Cuba Libres, a dance floor rendezvous), but the kind of love found in quiet companionship and things unsaid. Fall in love with your partner, fall in love with your sister, fall in love with your cat, fall in love with yourself.
I’ve felt the shift into Virgo so strongly — I feel more focused on work (both in my career and in my personal life), more productive, more able to visualize my goals. I feel a little more grounded, a little more present. I love an earth sign. Not quite on purpose, I had an earthy symbol tattooed on me as we shifted into Virgo. That feels right.
August was incredibly difficult for me, in ways I couldn’t have predicted. At a few points last month, I felt sure that I had been lost. I see now how the work I have been doing on myself steadied me, even when I didn’t realize it. Trust. I am learning to trust the process, trust my guides, trust myself.
this year, i am reveling in cancer season. this is new for me — stubborn earth sun sign, impatient fire moon sign. maybe it’s my cancer partner (and he is oh so very cancer), but during this cycle, are falling into place through water, through outpourings of emotion, through indulging in nostalgia, through holing up in sacred home spaces.
i write this from the seashore, and it’s amazing how *new* i feel in the space of a few days. i ground in the sand while watching the little ones in the waves, the sound of the surf in my ears. the sun makes me feel alive, tired, radiant. my life in fluorescent offices and in the shades of high rises makes me forget that I feel most myself with a bronzed glow on my cheeks.
(come back from the shore, take a shower, paint on coral lips and a little black dress for a night out. a live band, a glass or three of white wine and the shrimp and scallop pasta dish.)
am i fulfilled, am i content, am i free of fear and self-doubt and anxiety? no, no, hell no. but i’m feeling a little more present, and that feels like a gift right now. (a present? ha.)