Walking with my dog through the neighborhood, I see girls in the distance who I think are girls my daughter used to know, so I squint to see if I should wave, but they aren’t of course, because those girls are at college now. We walk through the park where I raised my children throwing sand and playing soccer, and tumbling from the jungle gym, which ended in three stitches for my daughter in that place where Donald Trump grabs women, and I see toddlers, running and jumping, and swinging and sliding, and I think for a moment that I see Jake. That I see Ally. But then I remember that Jake and that Ally don’t exist anymore.
My dog and I crunch the colored leaves with our feet. He looks up at me every so often, as if to say something, but he never does (even though I’m certain he will any day now). The special light that only October can deliver is all around me. It’s different than anywhere I’ve ever been, and more pleasing than any filter Instagram offers. It’s an angle of the sun that happens in the month of Halloween that makes everything not just pretty, but prettier. The leaves don’t hurt, of course, but it’s not the leaves, it’s the light. It’s the light I imagine heaven would have. A better, photoshopped version of the rest of the year.
My first child was born in October, after three years of infertility. I remember the day after he was born, waking early, and Peter and I looked out the window and the sunrise looked drawn by a gifted artist, like a special morning, composed just for us and our new addition to the world. It seemed to me nothing could ever go wrong for a boy born into that kind of light. I wouldn’t know then, how worthy he was of such luminosity.
The fall is such a painterly time of year. While the colors have become a cliche, there is no denying that nature does kick-ass work. I have come to realize that I love the fall, but I never really enjoy it, because it always signals to me that winter is getting on its snowsuit and heading my way. And there is no love lost between me and that season.
My dog and I are doing our work. I am typing, and he is sleeping. He is a great partner, but he always gets the easy assignments. We make a good team. I am grateful for our time. I am in sort of a vulnerable mood today, and it makes me grateful for everything. I sit in the light, and hold on.