It was the first weekend of September and although the market was still sporting August tomatoes, Lance sold out of pumpkin donuts within the first hour. Pumpkin spice everything started this week and I joined in with three or four batches of homemade pumpkin lattes. They were served up to my little brother in our kitchen at first and then eventually at the top of the sledding hill in McCurdy Park at 7am on Sunday, prepared with a camping stove as a birthday adventure for my Dad. We celebrated another year of health and agreed to make hilltop morning coffee a regular event.
Fall is coming, and the pie pumpkins come along with new routines for everyone. Back to school for lots of us - for me, back to work. I'm starting two or three new jobs this month - cleaning, subbing, tutoring - and am thankful that they all pay reasonably well and are mostly per diem, leaving me a nice blend of flexibility and income opportunity.Three of four days a week of paying work will hopefully leave plenty of time for work with City Church, the Intersection, and Tabella. (Plus writing and photo taking and coffee drinking, of course.)
It's been six months since I moved home from Detroit and as I said in my launch post, it feels like the end of the beginning. It's time to start thinking long term about living and working in Owosso. I'm mulling over questions like, "Where should I live?". Should I stay with my parents? I really love it here, honestly, but living here is also a sign to myself and my parents that I don't quite have my life figured out yet - a worrying idea for all of us. And although living away from home won't necessarily make my vision for the next ten years any clearer, it might make our conversation about that vision a little easier.
This fall is full of questions about work and lifestyle and calling and ego, questions like, "How long will I be comfortable making barely enough money to pay my bills?", and "When will we accomplish something really valuable, something that will make all these strange and sporadic decisions seem like wisdom?" As I type them, those particular questions feel drenched in ego and unhealthy ambition and other peoples' concerns.
But is there some other version of them that would have integrity? Questions like, "If this is my calling, how can I make a sustainable life of it?", and "Am I committed to flexibility so that I can do important work? Or do I just want to avoid hard work?". And maybe most important of all: "How are my decisions affecting the people around me?". I know that my life makes the people who love me really uncomfortable sometimes and I haven't quite figured out to what extent it's my duty to comfort them.
The beautiful terrible thing is that these questions are not the sorts of questions that get answered. They are the sort that get asked for years and year and years. As fall emerges this year, though, they are presently themselves with particular clarity and urgency; this season will be full of asking and answering and sharing. The good news is that we'll get to all of that work while eating pumpkin flavored baked goods.