Summer is over and I am feeling in an embracing sort of mood. I am ready to welcome the rain and the cold, the dark nights and soggy leaves. Clara is sleeping off a cold and Matt has thoughtfully gone out for a couple of hours. He is a careful observer of his wife and he knows when I need some time to myself, often before I do.
Alone time has been pretty scarce these last six or so months and I feel it keenly. My personality type is ESFP (google Myers Briggs for clarification!) this means among other things that my feeling function is introverted. This was best evidenced on the night Matt asked me to marry him when after saying yes, I disappeared off for a while by myself, ostensibly to change my outfit but retrospectively it was to have a moment to myself to acclimatise to the tidal wave of feelings that accompany a proposal.
That explains it on a grand scale but what this means in my everyday life is that I need time by myself in order to process my emotions, In fact I struggle to feel anything at all unless I've been able to give myself some time and space to do so.
Being a mother is many wonderful things but it really doesn't lend itself to lots of alone time which is hard. It affects everything for me, and especially my ability to write.
In the rare moments that belong to me alone I am desperate to put pen to paper but I just can't. I'm struggling with correspondence and where once I was a prolific journal writer I seem unable to articulate anything at all.
It sometimes seems to me that my inner voice has just gone a bit quiet.
So bare with me as I stutter and stumble out a little bit of my heart, forgive me any moments of inarticulacy, I am just touching base with my own self again.
This summer has been unforgettable. I think I will remember it always as beautifully sunny and spacious, it was time spent with people we love in some amazing places, camping for the first time with C, swimming and singing at the top of our lungs in the car on the way home.
I've even been able to take up some (very slow) running and completed the 'couch to 5K' podcasts! But my above all favourite thing has been to watch our girl change and grow before my very eyes.
This felt particularly special as Matt has been on holiday for the past three months and was able to witness it all with me which was such a privilege.
Having said that. Co parenting in such close quarters has been fairly challenging, I think if I'm being honest we're both looking forward to having some time away from one another as term begins again.
The space (and sometimes lack of it!) that exists between each person in a marriage is really important, we've been reading 'the Zimzum of love' by Rob and Kristen Bell and would recommend it.
Something else on my mind this summer has been adoption. We've been talking a lot on long journeys home about what we want our family to look like in the future and this is something that comes up again and again. It is very scary but the call to family, and to children in particular is a strong one on my life and I am hoping that adoption will be part of that. We've been reading Krish Kandida's book 'Home for Good' which feels as good a place as any to begin.
In short, I feel stretched and full, exhausted exhilarated and hungry all at once.
In some ways I am a million miles away from the girl who first started writing this blog, she had time to walk for hours by herself, to pray and take glorious pictures of the things that she found. She had bundles of energy and was an observer of beauty, at least partially because it helped to silence the great loneliness inside.
If you'd have asked her what she wanted in life she would have pointed at me.
Strange then that now, just sometimes, I long to be her again, even though I am so happy right now, never again will I be, not a wife, not a mother.
There was a time in my life when I thought that this; marriage and motherhood was the destination. Now I can see so clearly how much more growing I have to do, how much more richness there is yet to come.
Pictures from our recent holiday in Northumberland