Hibernating Under the Hydrangea

Charlie Brown the Airedale napping under an Oak Leaf Hydrangea and Ginkgo tree.

So many people love Fall.  Really, really, love Fall.  Cooler weather, that smell, changing of the leaves, Pumpkin Spice everything – and I mean everything, just yesterday I saw a sign at a large auto dealership that read, “Pumpkin Spice Oil Change now available.”  That made me laugh much harder than it should have.  Probably because I don’t get the whole pumpkin spice craze.  I’ll let you in on a secret, add some cinnamon and nutmeg to your coffee in March, it’s still “Pumpkin Spice”.

Despite the unseasonably warm weather this Fall, I’ve been affected in the usual ways;  sleeping almost 12 hours a day, and I’m still exhausted.  My hands and feet are always cold, therefore I spend the days layering up and wondering where my fingerless mitts are – I own a ‘freakin’ yarn shop, so why can I never find my fingerless mitts when I need them?  I can’t spend time outside without paying for it the day after.  Everything hurts, all the time, every day.

Much like Spring, Fall is a season of change.  Maybe that’s why despite my efforts, precautions, and the various actions I take to combat my body’s usual response to Fall, I fail every year.  Because things seem to be changing and weighing on me heavily this Fall, the precautions are counteracted by the changes – the good and the bad ones.

While many of these changes could, and do happen, at any time of the year,  they just somehow seem more poignant in the Fall.  Probably because unlike Spring’s anticipated change of rebirth and renewal, Fall signals death, cold, and hibernation.  That’s quite a different type of change; green and vibrant vs. grey and still.  And that difference can create a vastly different attitude.

I believe we need a period of hibernation.  The rest of hibernation allows one to wake up renewed, as we’re supposed to in the Spring.  But our society doesn’t place much value in the notion of rest and hibernation.  And let’s be honest, unlike animals, we can’t sleep away months – the dishes still need done; dinners need made; laundry still piles up; appointments must be kept; and with the holidays coming, family obligations arise.

All of these tasks and obligations can wear away at our being.  It’s a hard thing to accept, but it’s ok if we only maintain the status quo at these times.  You only got the dishes and the laundry done?   You’re probably the only one keeping tabs.  We need to remember that not all of us like to, or are even able to, run at full speed every day, all year, every year.  And that is ok – albeit hard to accept, even by those of us who unwillingly slow down.

As we move into what is supposed to be a slower season in our annual life cycle, let’s remember that not all of us enjoy the hustle and bustle of daily life every day of the year.  Some of us need a break.  Life is exhausting.  Truly.  Sometimes we need to slow down, whether we want to or not.   The fast pace that society seems to demand isn’t the pace we should always strive to maintain.

However you find yourself handling this season of change, I hope you find the support you need to slow down and enjoy the changes that Fall brings and the hibernation ahead, even while continuing your daily life.  Or at least, like Charlie Brown, may you find a great place to hibernate (nap).