i can't believe leaves are already starting to fall. that's not to say i don't enjoy stepping on a crunchy leaf while walking the dog, but the winding down of summer makes me sad. i'm no friend of winter. we don't really get along. i don't like coats, i don't like having to wear shoes (and worse, socks), i don't like the hems of my pants being constantly cold and wet and dirty from dragging in the snow. i don't like spinning out on icy freeways and crawling out of a warm bed in the morning to a room so cold it should be frost-covered. i know some people really get into that sort of thing, but it's just not for me. i can admit, though, that fresh snow is very pretty.
okay, so winter's not exactly on our doorstep. it is a little chilly today but a week ago it was hotter than boys, and i'm sure the leaves i stomped on are just a pretentious few, maybe the ones at the top of the tree who are sick of getting all the sunlight and ready to get on with it and be done with summer. i just love looking forward to summer so much more than looking forward to winter. i guess i could try looking through winter and into next summer and try to think of the cold as a brief tempermental phase that weather is going through. like puberty. uncomfortable and awkward, and in a rush to be ignored.
my walk was enjoyable. i stayed home from church sick but the gentle sunshine and fresh air was too good to pass up. and the dog needs the excercise. my birthday was yesterday, and that always makes me thoughtful. it was a very good birthday. i remember a birthday a long time ago when i was 4 turning 5, and we lived in the small town with the man who yelled. i was alone in the basement, staring at my reflection in the glass door of a cabinet, thinking "do i feel so different than 4? what is 5 going to be like?" i tried to notice any changes in my face, any added wisdom in my eyes or length to my limbs. i tried to imagine being all grown up, having long hair and breasts, wearing big girl clothes like my sister and going to the mall with my friends - or whatever grown up girls did. i didn't know. my days were filled with barbies and pretending i was a horse.
since then, almost every year i find myself looking in a mirror at some point on my birthday, trying to notice the ways i feel different. (of course i always look the same as yesterday, but i take the moment to mark how far and yet how close i am from the girl in front of the mirror the year before.) it also helps me remember the 5-year-old me. i'd tell her having breasts isn't all that neat.