If we lived 200 years ago (or, come to think of it, today in the Frank Church wilderness) this season would be about winterizing. I'd be preserving the last of the garden, insulating the gap under the door, replacing hinges, bringing in meat, chopping wood, sewing the last of my winter clothes. If you live in the West you know - everything gets harder come December.
But here in 2017, we have the conveniences of our small, modern town. The glow of the grocery store will draw us across the snowy, dark parking lot, no matter how stocked our freezer already is. Amazon Prime delivers rollerball pens even in February. I've never been much for gardening and Casey's handling the hunt this year. Last weekend we got our last load of wood but our 500 gallon propane tank waits full, just in case we miscalculated.
I love the way, however, our human bodies remember beyond our own lifetimes. Something in my animal bones remembers what it feels like to approach winter. Even more so than in spring, I autumn clean. It's funny the ways this shows up. I sweep up the digital leaves of my life, rebranding my website and deleting computer files (thank you - to everyone who has been so supportive in sharing and liking and following. Go see Sophie Danison if you need a badass branding of your own). I send a bag of clothes to the thrift store, promising to order something new online but knowing I probably wont. I mail my ski jacket back to the manufacturer to repair the zipper. I start running regularly, going to yoga, eating better, trying to set my habits well before the darkness comes.
I don't keep my fish but every trout caught under the oddly warm October sun brings a memory of survival.
And now, in November, I change my clock back. It's dark by 6PM and this morning we had our first snow in town. Bring it on, winter. I'm ready for you.