Autumn

We’re meant to be celebrating Thanksgiving here in Canada, but fall has the distinct feel of the new year to me. There’s an awareness of endings and beginnings. Sure, it doesn’t have the frenzied countdown to midnight and blare of fireworks, just the bite of chill in the air and gradual turn of the foliage. Or maybe it’s not too strange. In the Jewish culture, say, the new year just started. And the kids just went back to campuses with their new backpacks, fresh wardrobes. It’s a reminder that 2019 is no longer a new year and for those who made resolutions or promised certain accomplishments last January there’s judgement to be faced. Though I’m not on the New Year’s resolution bandwagon I’m still prone to feeling somewhat inadequate.

There’s always a resolve to be healthier and to write more. I have long known that I’ll be a lifelong omnivore; I can never give up any specific food group. But I’m realizing that I actually need much less food for nourishment than what I’m used to consuming. The past months showed me carrying smaller lunch boxes to work, eating a much lighter supper. Eating more plants. Not that you’ll see the difference in my physique, but what’s new? But I don’t want to be one of those impossible-to-feed health nuts. Food is fun, an exploration of flavours and other sensations. A way to bond. No health aspirations should have to change that.

On the writing front, there is this short story I’m working on, based on an awkward (to me, anyway) sort-of double date. The boyfriend doesn’t see the awkwardness–I’m somewhere between annoyed and envious. In the process of turning that experience into decent fiction, I’m changing characters, swapping traits, forming a different setting. Hoping to submit to some calls this fall. Maybe in a few weeks, I’ll share a deleted passage. Or one of my attempts at poetry. I’m taking a break from the second novel…the characters need their space to grow sometimes. (I’m always so good at justifying laziness).

Circling back, fall is the season that kicks me back into gear. It’s that beautiful taskmaster making sure I’ve done things I’ve set out to do. I love its vivid trees against grey skies. The need for layers and scarves, warm mugs of tea. We have an understanding between us that days will be dark and sluggish but I should be working harder. As always. But today is also a day for gratitude, and while any day is as good to do so, I’m taking the moment to be thankful for what turned out great. My health and loved ones’. A beautiful niece reaching her first year. Travels to special places. My modest but stable jobs.

To Canadians who celebrate, Happy Thanksgiving!

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