I’ve just returned from Washington, D.C. and Virginia where I was unabashedly reminded that it is autumn despite the fact that I left El Paso in 95-degree sunshine. Virginia was gorgeous as always—awash in leafy brilliance. I told my husband, “I forgot how… fluffy this state is!” He laughed and said he didn’t think you could call landscapes fluffy. Of course I argued to the contrary. When you’re coming from the flat desert, fluffy seems the perfect descriptor.
You know the old restaurant prophecy that as soon as somebody gets up to use the bathroom, the food will come? Well, I think that holds true to seasons, too. Nothing but sunshine and heat in El Paso for months on end. Then I’m gone for a week, and today I woke up to a cool (by Chihuahuan Desert standards) 60-degree morning. It’s even cloudy! In a place nicknamed the Sun City! So I slipped out of bed, fought off goose bumps, and pulled on a sweatshirt and fuzzy slippers. Ooo, so nice. Then I made a cup of hot tea, fed Gatsby breakfast and cozied up to my writing desk checkered in ‘To Do’ Post-its.
It’s been a razzle-dazzle few weeks: since the August 11th release of my novel until ten minutes ago, to be precise. I’ve been clicking away at a killer pace. Planes, trains and automobiles. Phone calls, texts and emails. I’ve hardly had a minute to breathe. And so I decided this was a great time to resume the instinct. I clicked off all technology and took ten minutes to forget everything, including the barrage of sticky notes and pages waiting for editing. Just a few minutes to sip my Irish Breakfast and look out over the Franklin Mountains. What a sight. They’re truly awesome.
On cloudy days, the craggy clefts and nooks appear smooth and round, shades of green-gray, red and yellow. Sunflowers grow wild in my backyard. Bunches and bunches of bright eyes the size of my palms. I might pick some for my writing desk. Desert autumn. There she is. In all my huffing and puffing over the perpetual heat and yearning for the East Coast, I’d almost missed the show. Quieter than Virginia’s flashy array but beautiful in its own right. And just like when I’m sitting in my parent’s backyard looking up at the great oaks and maples, their leaves like giant puppy paws, I had a moment of profound appreciation.
It’s amazing how ten minutes breathing can change a lady. Centers you. Makes you grateful for what you have and have not. I’m happy to be back home. Happy to put away my suitcase and know that I won’t see it again for at least a month. That makes me downright giddy.
Today, I’ll tackle a couple of ‘To Do’s’ —the easy ones. The rest can wait until tomorrow. I’m in mental recovery mode. Maybe I’ll go Yankee Candle shopping. I need to pick up a Christmas candle. Okay, I don’t need to— it’s only October. But it makes me feel warm-n-fuzzy on a warm-n-fuzzy kind of day. My mom and I love to do this: “Go for a smell” together. This past week, she bought ‘Harvest Moon’ and now my memories of my visit are steeped in warm pumpkin-spice-butter. I wanted to get one too, but those 22 oz. jars would’ve put my luggage over the weight restrictions. (I’m a notorious over-packer.) Plus, I already have ‘Autumn Leaves’ here. It’s burning now, reminding me that while there aren’t any fallen leaves in sight, it’s autumn just the same. Time to pull out my long-sleeve shirts and cable sweaters, stock up on soups and teas, settle in at home for a spell and write.
Yours truly, Sarah