September, and thank heavens

September 10, 2012

The weather has cooled, the leaves are just starting to show a edges of red and orange, glowing flecks of yellow. The sunlight feels clear and clean – distilled into it’s most unsullied form. Tonight it may storm. Tonight it may freeze.

The wind blows carelessly-held papers, willy-nilly, across the campus mall, over the green lawns, and then into the oblivion of trees and bushes. Whoosh!

And I remember how I love the wind, it’s blustery kisses and wild mischief and the way it finds every weak spot in your roof or coat, the way it sings across prairies and jumps out at you around buildings.

We are holding on. Some days are hard, but N and I grip each others’ hands and even though he keeps on insisting that he owes me some sort of apology for not being Fitzwilliam Darcy, and even though I never know how to respond to those apologies – part of me really would like to run away to Netherfield but as much as I appreciate Darcy as a literary character, I’ve never set out to find him in real life or seen him as a realistic model for a man – we do all right. (Of course we do all right, says the undaunted and certain part of my brain; we both love Jane Austen, Seamus Heaney, and National League Baseball – that’s a few lifetime’s worth of conversations right there. And as any reader of Austen knows, you can tell when a couple is suited because they have good conversations.)

We had a weekend of long walks and adventures with Dot, who seems to grow brighter and funnier and more stubborn and louder and more amazing and loving and exasperating and miraculous with every day. She had her first swim lesson of the school year, and I was so proud of her for waiting her turn and listening to her teacher and for trying new things. I’m so proud of N for summoning up the strength to be such an amazing Dad even though he carries the weight of worlds on his shoulders right now. My heart bursts with love.

My most recent article was accepted with only minor revisions, and I’m currently working on two others with colleagues. I create websites and plan events and review books, and work at the reference desk, and answer questions online and write and wish I had more time to read. I am busy, and sometimes that is stressful – especially at the end of a full work day when I realize I forgot to plan dinner – but sometimes it feels really, really good.

It’s a sweet, hard, melancholy, lovely, world. This September world. I feel whispers of Teddy returning to my ears and the void of missing him doesn’t have the vacuum-like horror it held last month. He was here, and beautiful, and loved. The trees know his name and my valiant rosebush that has survived a summer of negligent watering in an undersized pot, knows it too. Teddy, my Teddy. Little Huckleberry.

I’ve taken down my previous post. It was important to share it, but now I need to hide it away for a while. I’m so grateful to all of you who commented and commiserated and offered the support of your thoughts and words.

The burdens aren’t all lifted, and I’d never expect that they would be, but it’s such a relief to exhale again.




  1. Erica – such beautiful words. I can feel your hope and your melancholy so clearly. And I agree that loving Jane Austen is a very good basis for most things in life. My Emma is an Austen Emma, named because my husband knew I loved her novels.

    I never commented on your previous post. I haven’t checked my blog in weeks – the longest I have ever needed to move away from this place. I saw your post briefly a couple of days ago and got called away to something before I had a proper chance to read and comment. I actually logged on today, specifically to respond to what you had written. I would hate you to think that the fact that I didn’t write meant that I didn’t care or was not thinking of you kindly. I am.

    I hope September’s wind bows fresh and clear for you and Dot and N.

  2. Oh September, you can never come fast enough. I am always so grateful for spring at this time of year as well. Just what I need after the month of coldness and misery. I’m thinking of you guys, Erica.

  3. Not sure if I actually got to comment on your last post, but I tried. I’m having such a difficult time commenting on WordPress these days, because I read on my phone and have no idea what my sign in is on wordpress. If you want to talk, know that I am here and can talk about the issues you addressed in the last post from the spouse experience and personal experience. Anyway, here reading, sending love, sending grounding…xo

  4. Your previous post was actually still in my Google Reader — I read it there & came to comment & it was gone, & then I read the next one. Haven’t read any further yet ; ) but I am hoping things are better now, & that September was good to you, especially since August wasn’t… (((hugs)))

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