It’s mid-October. Trees, recently adorned in all their fall splendor, are starting to look bare. There are more crispy leaves on the ground than there are on the trees.
Amidst all the fall and Halloween decorations in yards people are putting up Christmas lights. They’re already up on Main Street. To those of who hail from a warmer climate, like we did until last year, it seems absurd to put lights up in mid-October. Here, in Saskatchewan, it’s wise. We all know what’s coming.
The “s” word is being whispered. A look at the forecast reveals this may be the last semi-warm week of the year. Gerry and I take advantage of the sunshine to take Molly for a short walk in the Wakamow valley.
Molly, who this morning visited the groomer for the first time for a shampoo and face and bum touch-up and is looking so dapper this afternoon. She’ll return in a few weeks for a touch-up, and later still for a full groom. Regular visits to the groomer are de rigueur for Yorkies. We ease into it. She’ll grow accustomed to it in time.
I’ve been wrestling with the black dog of depression. I learned, early on in my struggle many years ago, that it’s not always safe to say such a thing. There’s a certain look or a tone to the “oh” that’s uttered in response that makes people like me sorry we mentioned it at all. We sluff it off. It’s no big deal, really. Not everyone knows what to do with someone caught in a skirmish with their mental health.
Here, I am comfortable owning it. I can’t see your face; I don’t hear your response. If you have read any of my books, you already know of my struggle, anyway. More so, some of you know exactly what I’m talking about because you’ve been there too. We fragmented and sometimes-fragile ones recognize one another.
Meanwhile, I tap out words in my private journal and make a list of things that help. I step back from some things and embrace others. I pray. I listen. I do what I need to do. I practice saying “no”. My mood begins to improve.
It feels like I am holding my breath some days waiting for days to change from the lovely lingering fall we’ve been enjoying to crisp and frosty white. I challenge myself to remain present. On my desk, an array of Post-it notes remind me of things I need to tend to. There’s too much ink on the October page of the calendar that hangs on the wall next to it. November looks better. I look forward to weeks with no commitments.