The time is at hand.
The nights are turning chilly which lingers till mid-morning. Thin, cotton clothes breathe, but breathing clothes are not comfy now. The brisk breeze has a bit of a cut to it. Shorts and shorted sleeves, capris and sandals are no longer desirable in these mid-October days.
This mundane task is one I most dread. I procrastinate. I try to make do with the few cozier items I kept handy for those just-in-case occasions in Summer. It is not working: neither my procrastination nor my creative gap-filling.
My mind slips into fantasy. I imagine having many closets, closets roomy and plush, enough for each Season to have its own closet. While I’m playing pretend in the castles of my mind, I add in a maid, no, several to organize: to deal with cast-offs, to find just the spot for the new, and to manage all the washing and drying that goes with putting away this Season just passed.
And the children? My mind skips back to the days when I had not just one, not just two, but three changeovers to do … GIRL-CLOTHES changeovers! I recall the even deeper dread then of the task of seeing what fits whom, who likes what, and what would get a roll of the eyes, “Too old, Mom!” “Not sweet, Mom!” “Drab!!” How many other women are feeling suffocated about now, knowing that this vital task must be done and it must be done soon? What moms are losing precious hours of sleep because ~ well, there simply are not enough hours to get it all done, so sleep is sacrificed. This job that rolls around every six months or so is an add-on, like something that comes upon us unexpected. It is hard to find the time.
Then there are the containers. Always it seems this task of changing over involves one shopping trip, maybe more, to gather or replace those that hold this coming Season’s goods. Nothing lasts forever ~ not clothes or shoes or the things that hold them ~ nor the Ones they hold.
My mind turn philosophical. I ponder the changing of Seasons in these six-month increments. Is it really nearly Christmas again? The stores say it is! What a dichotomy in our materialistic society: Halloween when ghouls and goblins and all manner of evil creatures are mimicked for “fun” is just one aisle away from Christmas trees and wrappings and trappings of the Holy Season. Only six weeks until Thanksgiving? And just ten weeks until Christmas? I want to yell, “Stop! Wait!” Fall is my favorite Season. I want to hold onto it awhile before it, too, slips away.
I haven’t walked the crunchy leaves yet. I barely have Fall decorations on the mantel and round about our home. Relishing the skies of Fall has been such a brief enjoyment. No hot cider or warm, crackling fires in the fireplace yet. It is too soon to speak of these Celebrations yet to come. I want to rest here awhile in the glory of the impassioned trees!
Gradually, I sense my heart turning as I begin this task which now seems perhaps not-so-mundane. I ponder my privilege to care for these threads because I actually DO live in a castle compared to most of the world. I actually DO have more closets and space to live than even many here in the urb I call “Home.” Now, more intentionally, I turn my heart to focus on the Giver and the Gift of my privileged estate in this world. As I set my mind to task, I set my mind on how my overabundance might be turned into gifts for others. My mind is changed over to His Mind. This Seasonal chore is becoming a blessed opportunity.
First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work,
is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth,
diligent in homemaking.
She’s quick to assist anyone in need,
reaches out to help the poor.
She doesn’t worry about her family when it snows;
their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.
Proverbs 31:17-21 (The Message)