Into the quiet and contemplation of the months following our move to Cincinnati, October has sprung (and it’s taken the month being nearly over for me to comment on this). Everything, it seems, has begun with October: teaching, tutoring, a Biblestudy, and other activities. Hobbit-natured as I am, it’s taken me some time to recalibrate to a new life rhythm. Hence, the general silence around here lately. To compensate, some snapshots (verbal & visual) of the last month:
October is my family’s “birthday month.” In fact, I could be more specific and talk about the stretch of days between my Dad’s and brother’s birthdays as a birthday week. To celebrate, we toted our bikes up to Columbus for a weekend together. Though both my brother and father hit landmark birthdays (18 for my brother and 60 for my dad), our celebration was fairly low-key: dinner at a tasty Indian restaurant, senior pictures with Christian, and bike-riding to Jeni’s Ice Cream (mmm!).
Since then, it seems like fall has settled in for good. Later and later sunrises (often dimmed by cloud cover) have made me appreciate the brightness and warmth of candle light.
In our backyard, the leaves are ever-so-slowly changing.
October has also been my first month “back in the saddle.” We (my class of 30 students and I) have just made to the fourth week of the quarter in the composition class I’m teaching, and…I’m still trying to decide whether it’s good to be back to teaching in a classroom setting. I enjoy the act of lesson planning and interacting with students who want help. However, a class of thirty feels too unwieldy after the 12-16 student classes that I had as an ESL teacher. One of my favorite things about teaching has always been working individually with students to provide them with the personalized attention they need to improve their English skills, but the chaos of thirty students (even thirty supposed adults) makes that difficult. Perhaps I need to hold my ideals a bit more loosely.
In other news, I’m savoring the fall fruit coming our way, in particular Bartlett pears and Macintosh apples (with all their sweet, tart, occasionally mouth-puckering sour goodness). At the beginning of this year, I decided to pay closer attention to what fruits or vegetables were on sale during each season, and to try them (for the first time ever, or to try preparing them in new ways). In this way, we’ve eaten turnips, artichokes, egg plants, lots of zucchini and yellow summer squash, plums, pluots, and now pears. Prior to this year, I hadn’t had a pear since my family visited Spain in 2001. Since then, I’d assumed that American pears wouldn’t be worth trying. This year, I changed my mind, decided to try them, and learned that if you are patient and let them ripen long enough on the counter after bringing them home, even Meijer-bought pears can be meltingly sweet.
There the snapshots stop, for the sake of your and my attention spans. Of course, much more has been going on, but here’s the bit most recently on my camera and my mind. This has been a month that’s felt like riding sea-swells, and yet for all the adjustment, and the moments of uncertainty, I am glad to be where I am, with opportunities to grow into and to learn that I not only can, but so dearly need to, lean hard into God’s sufficiency.
And all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well.