Spring fever, senioritis, skipping school comes easy, with it’s familiar laughter, shedding of clothes, spreading of blankets on hills, dipping of toes into pools, opening of windows.
But fall comes with it’s own maladies it seems and they are ones of coldness, layering, shuttering, shutting down. For all around me, we are bundling, shuttering, closing down, shutting off.
Maybe it’s THIS fall. This fall with the economy plummeting, the campaigns becoming hostile and in some cases disturbing. This fall with the temperature literally changing from 80 degrees to 30 Fahrenheit in a day. This fall, with the war casualities and injuries mounting, this Fall with the flu and cold strains bouncing around from person to person.
Or maybe it’s just the people I know. Maybe it’s Washington and our obsession with polls and stats and debates. Maybe it’s my friends, one facing the prospect of losing her cat really more of a “spiritual guide,” the constant who saw her through boyfriends, and friends, and changes of cities and marriage and baby-wanting,
"habbib on the prowl," Suz Redfearn
and baby-bringing-home – Habbib.
Another friend asked recently “Is there such a thing as pre-partum depression?”
So maybe it’s us.
But me? I am getting married, I’m in love with a wonderful man who loves me back, I’m writing again (watch this space for snippets of “all the boys I’ve loved before” for my work-in-progress novella, “Red Line to Dumpsville: My Year of Dating in Washington D.C.”), getting good feedback on that writing, getting published and broadcast and awarded. I have a good job, with raises every year, and more importantly respect and friendship of peers I admire in turn.
And I’m sad, too. And I don’t know why.
So we ride it out, we cuddle and hunker down together, we sing songs loudly, we tell jokes and giggle. We bring friends our friends, bring love our love, bring hearts our hearts. And wait, trust in the universe, and know: this too shall pass.
My friend is in what she calls “pregrieving” for Habbib, the gentlemanly little man-cat who chose to live with her these past 15 years, with his curmudgeonly face but spirit of anything but grump. I told her what I very much know to be true, that whatever happens with Habbib that maybe he is preparing to go because he knows he can: she’ll be okay now. She got that love she was seeking and the beautiful baby, the loving husband, the security and full cup of love in the world. But sure as I am that Habbib is sure she’ll be okay, I’m equally sure that he won’t be gone, not forever, not really, even if physically. He’ll be sending her signs from wherever he is for years and years to come.
My dad does so all the time. The year after he died I wanted to go on a trip to Spain – my mom was worried -I was just 13; we had just bombed Libya, she was a newly single parent. In the parking lot of our neighborhood drug store she saw an exact doppelganger copy of my dad’s old car: the fairly unique VW rabbit, beige. The license plate? “ITS OK.” No, I’m not kidding.
And it was, I went on that trip. Habbib may say his adieus to the the grassy patch he plays on and the laptops he likes to sleep on. We will hurt and get better and fall down again and laugh and cry and love and sometimes hate and then remember it is so much better to love. And the sun will rise and fall. And it will be O.K. Promise.