I visit often…but never for long.
This week has been a turning point for the weather in Vancouver. Gone are the long hot summer days that we had been spoiled with this season. Gone are the shorter, warmer, still sunny days of September. Many Vancouverites approached the unseasonably awesome weather with relief, but trepidation, knowing that it couldn’t possibly last all winter, could it? The last few days have given us our answer, no. Winter is no longer coming, it is here. Buoyed by the knowledge that the rain in the city meant snow on the mountains, I faced the change in weather with optimism and resilience, until that quickly turned to resignation. The excitement about wearing jeans, sweaters and boots that have not been seen in many months is tempered by the soggy, wetness that will permeate this city for the next 5 months.
The rain beats against the window and the sky is caught somewhere between daylight and darkness as I read others’ musings on the change of season, the change of weather and simply, change. I realize that it is not only the changing weather that has me feeling this way, but rather the process and acceptance of change, in all of its glory. This time of year I embrace The Melancholy. I have found that greatness and creativity can be born from sinking into it and indulging myself, but I don’t stay very long. This time of year naturally supports frequent visits to The Melancholy. The cold, wet, darkness of the world encourages an indulgence into the internal ether. Staying too long can create sadness and pain, and I definitely do not want to become the archetypical “dark, brooding, creative type” or an Eeyore, with a continual rain cloud following my every move. But I will admit to enjoying the frequent visits and the creative spark The Melancholy evokes.
It’s difficult for me to describe The Melancholy. It’s a nostalgic, introspective, gut-exploring sensation that leaves you both satiated and starving, invigorated and exhausted. It’s a cold, wet, windy, fall day. Change is inevitable. Personal upheaval and change have been a central theme in my life for the last few years, which has culminated in several, life-affirming, life-changing and personal growth “aha!” moments, especially in the last few months. It feels as though the fruits of my self-exploration efforts, most of which were unwillingly forced upon me, have finally come to a deep internal understanding and acceptance. Of me, of self, of authenticity. It has taught me so many valuable lessons about love, relationship, accountability and well, basically, growing up. It’s time for me to commit to something greater than myself. Or shut up about it.
In all this change, which for the most part has been extremely positive, The Melancholy hovers around and invites me in for an occasional visit. It reminds me that, although I love change for all it is and all its potential, I can still allow myself a little bit of time and energy to grieve the loss of the old, while still embracing the new. The Melancholy is my enabler. It allows me time and space for some wallowing, for quietly acknowledging what once was and will no longer be, a short period of grief.
The change in season, although real outside, is also symbolic for me this year. I am letting go of the past and embracing the future. A future that is filled with togetherness, team-work, give and take, commitment and, mostly, hope. It’s a warm fire, hot chocolate and Bailey’s, a cozy blanket and a funny movie, it’s watching football and planning our next snowshoe adventure, it’s partnership. I will always visit The Melancholy, and allow it to impart its wisdom and learning. But I don’t ever stay too long.