Ants Marching.

There’s only one way to start this post.

And that’s to start it. And to tell you that a year ago I wrote a Fall Bucket List for 2015 and called it “Under the Table and Dreaming.” It was this song, though – “Ants Marching” and that was on the tip of my tongue. I came here to write a fall bucket list and to tell you everything I love about fall, and the one thing I hate about fall. The one thing I hate is that it means the end of summer. It marches out like the ants – out the doors and out the windows. Floating out on a crisp breeze.

We had a bit of an ant problem, after ten days out of the house. They march in and out in different directions, all chaotic, and it surprises me when I see them marching out in a straight line. We don’t see them much anymore. Time marches on.

Yesterday, I was near Des’ daycare after breakfast and I heard them all come out of the house for their daily walk/stroll. I saw him and he didn’t see me and I was a fly on the wall, an ant marching by, but I couldn’t help it and I leaped up the porch and lifted him in the air. “Mama!” He laughed! “I’m not ready to go home yet! Put me down!” I started to walk away and he grabbed my shirt and gave me a dazzling, heartbreaking grin and one of his signature chaotic waves. That same push/pull.

He wanted me close and he wanted me far away at the same time.

It’s the way the words sometimes don’t/can’t/won’t come, and I try again another day. What if they still won’t come? What if I’m blocking them? But they do, and they march by, and I have to grab them – one by one – because everything marches on.

In different directions, all chaotic, and sometimes in a surprising straight line.

It’s the way the work doesn’t come, for weeks, and then it comes marching in from all directions, all chaotic, and sometimes in consistent straight lines, and I’m underwater and I shouldn’t be taking on new tasks, but I can’t stop. I can’t stop trying. I can’t stop building and creating. I’m like an ant marching – but this time I’m the leader and if I stop, well I can’t stop.

How will they know where to follow me? How will they know TO follow me?

And oh, it’s the way we miss summer but welcome fall.

It’s like a dance. I’d like to believe that ants march and then they dance, and they dance, and then they march.

It’s in the way that Alaska feels so far away now – escaping into a backwards abyss – being swallowed up piece by piece – and I have to keep the pieces together. It’s in the way that Alaska feels both like the end of dreams – and the start of dreams.

It’s the way I worry that I’ve already seen too much, and this is the end, but also know that it’s really the beginning.

ants marching

Again and again and again. Every morning is a chance to grab onto something really solid. Look up.

ants marching

It’s these flashes of knowing exactly what I’m doing, and then not knowing at all what I’m doing..

..or where I’m heading/headed.

It’s being caught between two fronts here – warm and cold, cold and warm.

Vivid color and black and white. Black and white and vivid color.

It’s the way I want to push you away and pull you so close.

I always miss spring/summer for the possibility. For longer stretches of days, filled with four or five adventures. I miss it for the light and the warmth. I miss it for the dreams. You can find it all, though, no matter when. You can seek adventure out.

ants marching

Fall pushes summer out, and now it’s time to pull fall in. So close.

ants marching

It’s the push and pull of loving them both for different reasons. It’s craving the next one and missing the last one just as soon as it starts. It’s the push and pull of time moving on, quite like ants marching in a straight line. Passing me by. Taking me in.

“The week ends the week begins
She thinks, we look at each other
Wondering what the other is thinking
But we never say a thing
These crimes between us grow deeper”
— Dave Matthews Band

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday. This week’s topic is “What I love (or hate) about Fall is…” And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin on any of the matters: HERE.

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  1. Still one of my absolute favorite Dave Matthews song and now am summing right along. Fall is really pushing hard here and am finally caving to wearing leggings and even long sleeves here today as it is raining, windy and downright chilly. Oh well time and ants really do keep on marching on. Here is to Fall!! 😉

    1. I’ve been singing it since I wrote this! I LOVE it.
      I wore leggings and boots this weekend. I kinda love them, but you know I miss my prized dresses.

  2. Oh my goodness – those pictures! And we finally had a break in the heat, so I am ready for fall. It’s different here in the south – the summer lasts soooo long (really may-through September in the 80s or 90s, that when fall finally breezes in – hallelujah! But I am a little sad to say good bye to summer, but it’s weird cause the kids have been in school since August 4th, you know?

    1. We even needed heat this weekend, although I didn’t put it on. YET.
      August 4th! Sheesh. We were over a full month after you. September 5th here. We’re still in that warm-up period, I think. Not even a month yet!

  3. The kids are so cute! I hate to see summer end, but I do love pumpkins, football games and wearing boots, so bring it on! Happy Fall! I love the beautiful changing of the leaves, but I have to go to the East Coast to see it (and will be there next month) – love the cute photos of the kids too!

    1. Thank you!! They’re so cute and funny (and argumentative) together.
      I love fall here, but it was awesome in SF too. Will you be up by me next month or lower down? I hope you see some great leaves!

  4. I’m a big fan of fall, however when I said out loud “Ants Marching”, Madison started singing, “The ants go marching one by one”. LOL. Your photos blended so effortlessly with the song though. BTW we’re heading to the mountains this weekend to see the fabulous Colorado Fall Colors (google it) and I just wish that you could come one year and photograph it. It’s the next best thing to Alaska. 🙂

    1. haha! Another fun ants marching song! Who knew?
      Our foliage this year is delayed, and potentially canceled. I see some beauty, though.
      I did Google the Colorado foliage and I sure wish to be there!

    1. Thank you! I love that these photos matched the writing so well – and they’re a year old! But still timely because I took them in September of 2015. Close…

  5. You are an AWESOME photographer and you have such beautiful subjects! I have had a freelance business so I understand what you mean by being busy and then wondering if you’ll have enough jobs to keep you afloat. Indiana has some beautiful rolling hills and a lot of fall color – reds, gold, orange, etc. Not quite as good as Colorado but right up there! Two friends and I went to visit three rescue elephants in Indiana (I know, right?!) Perhaps you’d look at my photos and let me know what you think? I’m getting better but still need to learn the mechanics of my camera. Have a great weekend! http://dianeweidenbenner.com/8th-wonder-world-elephants-ctst/

    1. Thank you! I keep hearing about the Colorado foliage. One day I’ll see it.
      I went to see the elephant photos – so thank you! Amazing animals.

  6. I love the sun of summer, yet the crispness of fall – more comfortable evenings and days of sun still left. These seasons changing I feel a little more on edge, but so far it’s quite subtle, almost unnoticed, except in quieter moment (which there are so few of). There’s the excitement, new beginnings, markers of time gone by. This time though, my edge comes from grief. If I’m honest I’m dreading the holidays. My Dad won’t be with us and there’s so much family turmoil, I wonder if it’s worth it, yet know I’ll push through because someone has to. Someone has to show strength in his absence and I know I’m the one, I always have been. Anyway, the birthdays pile up first though – first Hun, then Turtle Boy. Then Me. So there’s the good and that comes first. Everything marcjes, though, just like you said. Sometimes linear, sometimes meandering. 🙂

    1. That’s like us in the summer. Birthday after birthday after birthday. I can’t even imagine having birthdays during the school year!
      Turtle Boy is getting so big! I love how you really saw the linear time/meandering time thing.

  7. Your children are beautiful and they look adorable together. Wonderful post – I love how you tell your story in photos and words. The end of a season is always a happy time for me because it’s a chance to start new.

  8. Loved how you narrated a story via these innocent faces of your kids.

    Hope the ant problem is solved…jeez! it’s a nightmare to get rid of them 🙁

  9. I am so ready for the fall! Though I do hate how it gets dark so early. That generally makes me tired earlier. Not fun.

    I love these photos! Your kids are always so happy.

    1. They truly are happy!! I really want to be more like them. November 6th is when we set the clocks back. And then the 8th is the election.. so.. I just want to sleep through November.

    1. I thought the foliage would be a miss this year, but it’s actually growing quite beautiful around here. Who knew?? And the ride to NJ and back had gorgeous upstate NY foliage.

  10. Boy, I see you in Des! Especially the one where he is laughing. I love fall, but I get the mourning of summer. And those ants – they are marching in my house too.

    1. Aw, thanks! I find him to be devishly handsome, and a dead ringer for my maternal grandfather at his age.
      The ants are marching out now! I hope so for you too!

  11. I have battled ants all summer. Not fun, so although I am sad to see summer go, the ants leaving is most welcome. This Fall brings a lot of changes for our family, so with much trepidation here we come… I love your happy children photos. Happy Fall to your family 🙂

    1. It is fun to watch them march the heck out, isn’t it?
      Happy Fall to you! It is officially boots and leggings weather here, although it keeps switching back and forth and might be 75 on Thursday, which means one last sundress? But hopefully not one last ant family.

    1. Oh my, yes. I was looking through some of my old stuff at my parent’s house over the weekend and found a book that was purchased for me to cope with my father’s death. It’s called “The Fall of Freddie the Leaf.” And it finds parallels in grief and autumn and letting go. Man.

  12. Des is the best! My favorite part about the fall is the boots, not gonna lie. Fall for me is like a slow ride to Christmas (don’t care for much in between) but once Christmas is over we actually have to face winter. Wah.

    1. Des is wicked cool! I wish you could have met him over the summer.
      We are fully doing boots and leggings here! But then it’s supposed to be 75 on Thursday, so I’m confused.
      I dread facing winter, which is why we then go to Florida in January. Wheee!

  13. Aww, your children are gorgeous. Well you know I love fall but I hear you on that push/pull thing about this change of seasons. We closed up the lake lot last weekend and it was so sad. Another season of campfires, s’mores, hot dogs, ladder toss, swinging on swings among the trees has passed. I miss it already but it will be back before we know it!

  14. I know. This is always a hard transition for me too… wanting to hold on to summer and yet feeling the push to move forward into fall. Those pictures are stunning and I just love how your words always embrace and somehow reflect exactly what you are expressing. Now I’m feeling all emotional- I always get this way when I come here!

    It’s getting cold at night here… that’s how I know it’s over. It’s really over. I feel the ache settling into my bones… fall simmers with an entirely new perspective, doesn’t it?

    Let’s walk through it together, T. We got this.

  15. Nothing I write is going to be as poetic as what you write!! What I love about fall is the holidays and the colors and the energy of the crisp days. What I hate about fall is the falling leaves with mold (my allergic nemesis) that make me feel sick for most of the season. I’m a hot weather gal, so I feel like each year it is harder to say goodbye to summer. But, always look ahead and anticipate!!

    1. Oh, I’m certain you can be plenty poetic many times!
      I really am a summer girl. Fall is gorgeous. Spring is too, but I get allergies. I am now hearing about fall allergies but I don’t think I get them? I certainly get more congested, though, because of constant kid viruses, and the dry air from our heat.

  16. I think I’m always ready for fall. The summers here are HOT. So it’s always a welcome break from the heat. Even now that it’s fall the highs for the day are still in the mid-80s. Which feels great compared to 90 and 100 degree weather of summer.

    1. We get some heat and it’s almost too much for us to get used to, but I think it’s nothing like the south.
      I bet fall feels like a breath of fresh air!

  17. Ants freak me out (indoors). Where there’s one – there’s an army waiting for the go ahead. I’m with Sonya K. I don’t mourn summer one bit even though it means back to work and all kinds of busy things. I just want some cooler air. I saw a picture of you on Facebook this weekend will all the fall clothes on and I’m jealous because it’s too hot for leggings and sleeves are out of the question. Next weeks forecast is in the 70s and I’m so excited for it. Just gotta see what this hurricane is going to do. That would be on my hate list for Fall – hurricanes.

    As always LOVE LOVE LOVE the photos. If I had to pick of fav, it’d be the headshot of Des in the grass.

    Love how he was happy to see you but not ready to leave yet though I know it was a tug of emotions moment.

    1. We hadn’t seen any ants in days but I just saw one. Ick!
      The pictures of me on Facebook were wearing a coat too, right? We had our house go down to 66, which is nearly heat-worthy, but we didn’t do it. Yet.
      Hurricanes are terrifying but we don’t get them much. NJ got hit hard by Sandy, though, and our town got hit hard by Irene. Right now it’s Matthew!

  18. Such a lovely post, my sweet friend! And the fact that you referenced Dave Matthews Band= PERFECTION!! And now I must play some DMB! 🙂
    Happy Fall!

  19. I feel that push and pull of the seasons, especially as summer transitions into fall and I’m ready for the summer heat to be done and to cozy up in leggings and boots and fall dresses and shirts, but not wanting to say goodbye to summer and the promise of adventure and relaxation. (And that was a very long sentence!)

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