We left each of the boys in their new homes just as the season was turning.  Fall is renewal for me, all of my creativity and senses coming alive with the colors and cooler days of autumn.  Tree-like, I want to shed all the crinkled, dead debris of the previous months.  But this year, with such a sudden and drastic change in the structure and atmosphere at home, I have found it hard to know how to feel, what to do.  The first weeks I was simply very tired.  

Eventually, I got a picture in my head of what I needed and started decluttering.  These past years in particular have taken a toll on the little old house.  Some seasons of life are about stuffing things under the bed and far back into the closets and saving your energy for the emotional toil ahead.  How glad I am that time has passed for now.   I've cleared out my wardrobe, emptied drawers, piled up bags and bags for Goodwill, and there are many more projects to go.

I thought about this space a lot and how it, too, might change.  There are a lot of words stored here, a lot of the past years' struggles I am ready to put away.  I've made most of my archives private for now.  I need to let the sun in and air things out a bit.  

With three children graduated and half of my kids moved out, I have the room now to ask myself what I really want to do with my time, dust off my dreams and see what sparks might fly.  

"Let yourself be silently drawn by what you really will not lead you astray..."  (Rumi)

I am not drawn, so far, by what I thought I would be.  My dreams are simpler, smaller, easier, than I'd imagined in those long, tight days when my hands were full of needs.   I am not interested anymore in words for words' sake.  I've grown so tired of endless voices talking, endless causes pleading, endless platforms, endless strife.  In many ways I am tired of this medium entirely, but I come around and find myself still wanting a visual journal, a way to gather up beauty and record it, assure myself it really exists.

So here I am, still.  I am in love with home and relationships and food and books and nurturing and growing.   I'm in love with beauty and goodness and faithfulness.   I can't help but think that capturing the traces of those things here is time well spent.