Friday, December 21, 2018

Yosemite photos and a brief reflection on Autumn.

fall (n): the season when the leaves fall from the trees
fall (n): a movement downward
fall (n): a sudden drop from an upright position
fall (n): the act of surrendering

We've all been there: a season of life that feels challenging for no particular reason.  

It brings me joy that the world (or at least social media) enthusiastically celebrates a season that is all about plants dying and becoming barren. That actually, we don't want to see pretty flowers in bloom all year round, because that would be boring. 

November was a good month, but September and October were a bit challenging. In October, I decided to adopt the following mantra for this autumn: "Be patient with yourself. Nothing in nature blooms all year." It's one of those quotes that floats around the internet with no author and gets reposted so many times that everyone has probably heard it at some point or another. That actually gave me a little hope. It means that one common part of the human experience is struggle; a normal part of being human is feeling dormant at times. 

The reason that September and October were hard was not overtly obvious. Sickness spread through our house, taking each of us captive one after the other. Everett started preschool, which was a difficult transition for all of us (and one I'm still not completely bought into, but I act excited about it). There were great parts too, though. We celebrated Matt's birthday, my birthday, Cambria's birthday, and Halloween. Matt and I spent a night in Palm Springs without the kids, and we took a trip to New York.

In August, I went off of my depression medication that I had been taking for a year after struggling with severe postpartum depression. It was a good and timely decision, but it made me question every emotion after I was weaned off the pills. If I cried, I wondered, is this just my normal emotional self, or am I depressed again? If I was sad, I wondered, is this just my normal self that experiences sadness, or am I depressed again? If I had a bad day or week, I wondered, is this just the normal up and down of life, or am I depressed again?

It was a part of the post-depression process that I was not expecting to experience. However, having been off my medication for four months now, things are good and I can recognize that I am a human who experiences sadness and happiness, joy and frustration, good days and bad days, and I am just the type of person who is quick to cry, and I actually like that about myself.

As we celebrate the winter solstice today, the transition to a new season, I am grateful for the journey. The good and the bad, the lightness and the dark, the easy days and the hard days. 
A meadow walk with Grandma and Grandpa:
Triplets:
A trip to Yosemite wouldn't be complete without throwing a kid in the meadow:
Headed out on a fifteen mile hike:

Within the first couple of minutes, we spotted this beautiful bear:
Brother and sister:
We made it to Glacier Point:
Their joy is contagious:
Continually impressed by their sibling bond:
Mariposa Grove in the rain:

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