I guess it's officially fall now. I know that some of you will be checking in to see photos of my annual Autumnal Equinox dinner party. Usually, I post pictures full of bountiful tables and smiling faces and candles burning and pumpkins everywhere. Guess what? Not this year.
Of course, I had to do something, but considering the busy state of our life this fall, it was going to be a small something. I just made some fall desserts and coffee and set them out in my living room. Of course, I pulled out the leaf crowns for the girls to wear and Chris strung a few of my leaf garlands up around the living room, but for the most part, it was just a simple evening.
I spent a good part of my afternoon yesterday wondering why I was even doing anything at all to celebrate the change of season. After all, it doesn't even really change here. But we celebrate all the seasons in my family because I want my kids to be aware of what God has made here and how amazing it is. I want them to learn to notice what's around them and to be grateful for it. But this year, it seems a little trivial. This year, we are very busy. This year, I have a tiny nephew who is still in the hospital (doing marvelously, by the way) and I had a car accident that has given me so much paperwork and a little physical therapy that I don't have time for and we have some dear friends facing some very difficult, very personal pain. And when you add it all up, putting on a leaf crown and making apple crisp just doesn't seem like it's that important. It just doesn't seem to be worth the effort. And even though it was just dessert and coffee, it required more effort than I seem to be able to give this week.
When we got home, I remembered why I put out the effort. Andrew couldn't keep his nose out of the kitchen and as cinnamon began to waft through the air, he hugged me more than I can remember being hugged in a single day. Emma excitedly rummaged through her closet, looking for just-the-right-thing to wear. She was thrilled to help me put giant molasses cookies in bags, then tie them with a fat, fall ribbon as party favors. She chattered incessantly while we drove to the music studio for this evening's lessons and teaching. And after we got back home, rushing like mad to put out coffee and apple cider, Emma got out a stool and happily plopped whipped cream on top of the individual servings of pumpkin cake I dished.
We lit the $1 candles I'd scooped into my shopping cart over the weekend and sat. A small-ish group of family and friends trickled in through the front door. My grandma couldn't wait to wear her crown of leaves - just like she does every year )but this year is the first without Grandpa). People ate the treats I'd made with my own hands. And even though I am exhausted, I was glad I had made the effort to keep tradition. Because we sat for just a minute and looked into each others' faces and took notice of the beauty of God's creation - the blessings of being surrounded and supported by such incredible people.