Oh, the fragility and fantasy of fall! In the beginning, at the end of summer, the leaves are unremarkable, green, no one to notice, playing audience to August’s last burst of blooms. Yet days later, they have assumed their place on stage, commanding attention with colorful costumes, the talk of the town and the delight of children’s eyes. Days disappear and the leaves disappear, falling into anonymity, fading brown and dull on the ground, brittle underfoot, sodden and decaying in rain, making mud. Now that the first snow has come, branches are bare, leaves buried beneath the blanket, their glory gone.
It’s been a year of changes in our family and my life too. Like the ephemeral foliage, my own mortality has become more apparent to me. I’ve changed priorities and made choices.
As a blogger, as someone who wants to be authentic and transparent, as someone sharing from her life and experiences, I’ve felt a responsibility to write about these changes, yet these transformations have also meant that I have had fewer resources to give to blogging. I’ve felt overwhelmed by this (self-imposed) duty to update my readers, while faced with the new needs and priorities. Some aspects of this season cannot be posted publicly. Other aspects. although large and looming to me, seem trite and small compared to the pain and crises others are experiencing.
Yet the changes cannot be denied. For example, this fall, others have asked me if I’ve changed my hair or lost weight. People see something different. And this site – the silence on this site – testifies to differences in my life.
I haven’t known how to begin blogging here again. As I look through old posts, I feel a bit of distance, a difference, separating the Julie Leung typing on the keyboard this morning from the one who posted pieces months and years ago. Also my blogging style has to change. In this intense season, I no longer have hours to write late at night or during (now-nonexistent) afternoon naps. How I’ve loved lingering over words, playing with text and pictures, polishing posts for hours – and I am at a loss to find a new style.
But I want to be here. Whether it is researching my previous holiday recipes I posted in the archives, keeping in touch with friends or finding a book that gave me new inspiration and perspective as a parent and teacher, blogging continues to impact me this fall. I can’t deny the differences in me but I also can’t deny the differences blogging has made in me.
Perhaps the way to begin is to go back to the beginning. As Darren Barefoot reminded me recently with his First Posts post, I started by crawling. And that’s what it feels like again now. Awkward. New. Slow. But this is beginning. And if I go slow, I’ll be able to savor the seasons. Going slow, I can savor each day the leaves are gold. Before they are gone.