I just finally started settling into September and now the last week has come to a welcomed, yet abrupt close. How many times have I looked back this month towards snapshots of summer and wished I could have successfully bottled up our slower pace? What is it about school starting, new rhythms, and a list of weighty goals that can shoot our anxiety through the roof? We long for what we do not yet have & it steals our joy!
Many of us have spent the last 6 weeks of life in the swirling chaos of transitions, otherwise known as September. We have bought back to school supplies, packed lunches, filled up to-do lists, signed papers, juggled the 9-5, read books, sighed, wiped tears, and shed a few of our own. Each year I find myself mid-August craving the brisk beauty of a new a season and a change of pace, expectant of all that is to come. Yet once September rolls around the struggle is real. October is my birth month and the most picturesque time of the year in our town. College students bustle about on their bikes, leaves crunch beneath our boots, and scarves keep us cozy while we sip our pumpkin spiced lattes. October is a time to breathe deep again and relish in the fact that we survived September!
Yet every year about this time I wonder why September has to be so painful. Is there a way to transfer all the October vibes into the weeks that precede its arrival. L.M. Montgomery, author of Anne of Green Gables, speaks truth when she writes: “I am so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers”. But I don’t want to live for tomorrow, or complain about how I wish it was a dreamy night on the lake like the one we had as summer ceased and that sunset stunned my soul.
I yearn for my present moments to be filled with peace that penetrates the chaos. I think often about the image of a hurricane on the doppler radar. All the wind whips around the edges of the eye of the storm, yet anything caught in the eye is calm. Yes there was a storm behind and there is a storm ahead, but in that moment all is well. We have a few life-giving things planned for the month of October that I have been awaiting for months. Since our schedule is settling into a rhythm we will take a few weekends to head to the mountains with dear friends to rest and recoup. One Saturday I will travel south to the NestFest to gaze upon antiques & crafts while consuming rich music and food, with a kindred spirit by my side. My hope is that as we gather, we will speak of the September we just experienced with less survival talk and more look how God held us all together reflections through the disorienting whirlwind of summer ending & school beginning, and life feeling like it’s blazing by.
A song that has been on repeat for me & become my mantra for this full fall comes from All Sons & Daughters latest album Poets & Saints- You Hold it all Together.
We come with great expectations, and fears in our hearts
Send us Your light, as we’re making our way through the dark
All of the earlier troubles
Chaos and pain they unravel
Looking ahead we rejoice in You
You are my strength
You are my song
You are my salvation
You hold it all together
You hold it all together
Chaos and pain they unravel, You hold it all together
He does doesn’t he? The One who created us sees us and grasps the chaos and pain we feel because He chose to enter into it all when He walked this earth we inhabit. The best part is He offers the peace that passes all understanding. Only He could provide the hope and help we need to do more than survive our Septembers.
For the next 31 days of October I will be writing everyday. This is my 3rd year participating in this challenge with writers from all over the world. My hope is to remember how He met me and continues to do so right where I am, offering peace in the chaos, moment by moment.