Sunday, 31 October 2010

Family Roundabout




Autumn.  Around it comes, round again.
I took a long walk this morning -- because the sun was shining, because the children were otherwise occupied -- and I remember thinking this is the tipping point.
This is the day when everything is at its burnished, glowing peak.
In a week, maybe two if we don't get too much tearing wind, it will all fall down.
The darkness will close in on both sides:  another Bonfire Night, another Thanksgiving, another Christmas, another New Year's.  Feasts and festivities for compensation.

I've been reading a novel called Family Roundabout -- and I keep thinking about the aptness of the title.
Not just because I am the family chauffeur; and round and round I go.  Although there is that aspect of it, especially during half-term week -- when I have driven to Malvern, London, Cambridge, Oxford and Reading in so many days.
But also because I am the fulcrum of family life, and I feel like everyone else is a lever.  I am the circular and circumscribed, and everyone else is an exit -- leading to a separate road.
For this week, at least, I have embraced the busy roundabout of family life.  When it is going full-tilt, I feel necessary . . . (although there are a thousand conflicted thoughts behind that admission).

Will tomorrow (already today) be the last Halloween party of my daughter's childhood?
Will we still be in this house next year, when autumn rolls round again?
I am craving change -- and lots of it is coming (jobs, schools, home) whether I want it or not.

And yet; there is something so comforting about the roundaboutness of things.   

24 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Dearest Bee,
Such a lovely post.
Yes, changes abound but rather exciting too.

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

What a beautiful collection of autumnal photos!

Sounds like you have some exciting times coming up. Thinking of you and sending you xoxo :-)

Tracy Golightly-Garcia said...

Hello Bee

I really enjoyed this post and your pictures are lovely. Change can be good and I hope you get all that you want!

Best
Tracy :)

Plantaliscious said...

Constant change is here to stay? Maybe it is more spirals than circles. Although autumn always gives way to winter and thence to spring, each spring the trees and shrubs are a little bigger, children become adults and my waistline gets more out of control. So even when I seem to be back at the beginning I actually find myself standing in a slightly different place, with a different view. Good luck with the challenges of change and as one fulcrum to another, finding your own opportunities for growth and new things.

catmint said...

As always I discover profound truths about life and death and change and growth in the garden. I love living in a place where there are 4 distinct seasons to mark the passage of time, and over time am so aware of changes in me and my relationships. I am now a sandwich generation, caring for frail elderly mother as well as grandbabies. This too will pass ... cheers, catmint

steven said...

hello bee! i smiled as i read this because several of those questions are rolling around the roundabout in my own head. i see the family i'm a part of as more of a spiral galaxy with arms wandering off into space but the similarities are still there. i'm grieving the loss of some of the more magical features of my children's childhood while they are revelling in the newfound joys of young adulthood. and so it always was and always will be. enjoy the fulcrum as best you can - as you so wisely surmise . . . a new fulcrum is emerging even as the old one fades away! steven

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Beautiful post Bee. It would be so lovely to have these beautiful colors in central Texas, but as you know they are few & far between. Maybe a trip to Lost Maple State Park or the McKittrick Canyon in the Guadalupe Mtns. is in order. Happy Halloween & enjoy with your daughter.

Sarah Laurence said...

Nice foliage images! I like the metaphor you've extended here. There is a dizzy repetitiveness to parenting but also a wholeness to it. It's good to see you out enjoying the leaves and the sunshine despite the uncertainties in the future.

Happy Halloween!

Catalyst said...

Beautiful photos, Bee. And remember the words of the song . . "all my life's a circle . . ."

marja-leena said...

Gorgeous fall photos, Bee, and I love that expression 'the busy roundabout of family life". It's so true at all stages of life, even as a grandparent. It can be exciting and fun and sometimes even challenging. Take care. Oh, and Happy Halloween!

Nimble said...

I enjoyed imagining your walk. The peak of fall is a wonderful thing. Here today there was a swirling wind that blew the dead leaves around. Not too cold or too warm, it was perfectly halloweeny. We all had a good holiday which feels like an accomplishment. I was pretty stressed last week making preparations. And Halloween is the *easy* holiday! I can only laugh at myself. Let's take a deep breath and face into the winds of change.

Marcheline said...

I ride a different wheel, being center, spokes, and rim for myself. My husband and I chose not to have children, and so our lives are our own (at least the bit that Uncle Sam leaves us).

All the bloggers with kids seem to go through the same roundabout - having them, raising them, letting them go. And they all seem simultaneously baffled and cheerful and sad about the process, even though they are all part of the masses of millions of people that have done the same thing through the ages.

And I feel both lucky to have kept my life for myself, and adrift from that wheel of womanhood that I never became.

Kristen In London said...

With such beautiful surroundings to contribute to that gorgeous set of photos, I can't imagine for one minute you want to live in London... although I'd love to have you here!

kristina said...

I remember really enjoying Family Roundabout.

And I know what you mean about the circularity of life. The blog seems to highlight it, as I find myself writing about the same things at the same time each year. Things change, but they also seem to stay the same.

K x

herhimnbryn said...

Dear Bee Lady,
What a thoughtful post and thankyou for the images to remind me of Autumn in the UK. The colours, oh, the colours.

I hope that in the midst of all your changes you are well?

Paul C said...

'I am the fulcrum of family life, and I feel like everyone else is a lever...'This is a most appropriate image for a caring mother.

Merisi said...

Beautiful mosaic of glorious autumn pictures!

Loved reading your thoughts, in fact, I read them smiling, knowing them all too well.

elizabethm said...

What a wonderful post and what fascinating comments too. This is what delights me about blogging - such perception and intelligence and an insight into the life of someone I would otherwise never have met. So much of what you say resonates with me. My children are grown and left now and I find to my surprise that much though I loved being the fulcrum I love my freedom and independence just as much and having adult children is just marvellous. They are all people I would love to spend time with without the blood tie. Now I am contemplating taking on the care of my father in law and losing my freedom and gaining things too no doubt that I can't articulate now. Seasons change. The wheel turns!

Cottage Garden said...

Hello Bee, I've just hopped over from Marcheline's and have spent some time reading through your candid and insightful posts.

I so agree about time as a roundabout, the celebrations that punctuate the year come around ever faster each year, or so it seems. As I write this the wind is blowing a gale here and that tipping point is getting closer!

I look forward to coming back often.

Jeanne

homegrown countrygirl said...

Bee, I frequently check back here to read your beautiful writing and soak in the goodness of your soul... yes, I can feel it right through this glowing computer screen. You always make me cry but I come back again and again anyway...

A Thousand Clapping Hands said...

Being here always feels like I've stopped by for a cup of tea. It's nice to visit for a good read. I really enjoyed your review of Jonathan Franzen's book. I've been intrigued, but I've had no time lately to read anything. I really should send you an e-mail (Oh - I just typed 'animal' by mistake. Okay, I really should send you an animal.)...I'm not comfortable with long comments, but I get going and can't stop.

About the shoes - I had an entire suitcase full of my own pointe shoes and in a moment of craziness threw them away. I think one pair is still at my parent's house. They were all Freed's of London and I had particular makers who made them for me. I don't know what I was thinking.

Chilly, but beautiful weather here. No color in the trees, of course. You know how that is.

Lots of change for me, too. I'm hoping to use technology so that I can live a life without technology!
Hee hee.

Best,
Catherine

Barrie said...

Thank you for this wonderful post. It speaks to me.

Relyn said...

But also because I am the fulcrum of family life, and I feel like everyone else is a lever. I am the circular and circumscribed, and everyone else is an exit -- leading to a separate road.

You just described modern motherhood perfectly.

Christina said...

such beautiful photos. and change... sigh. ; )
co