A June that feels like September. A brisk catch in the air, a slow catch in my throat.
I remember an old denim jacket that still hangs in the back of my closet, an atypical wedding gift from a college friend who told me not to lose sight of who I was as I embarked on the "marriage thing."
I was 19. Her unconventional gift said "Screw the mixing bowls, tea towels, and whisks of domesticity! Hang on to your flannel shirt-loving, boot-wearing, independent self."
I wore that jacket while climbing mountains on my honeymoon and navigating the highs and lows of my 20s, covering it with a multitude of funky pins and buttons with slogans that hinted at who I was and where I'd been.
Those pins held my self together.
Decades later, I feel stripped bare by the passage of time, responsibilities and experience, love and loss, the unsteady flow of people in and out of my life, the realities of my age and my Age.
I feel a chill and a shiver on this June morning.
It feels like fall.
Today the plain denim jacket I own is several sizes larger than the vintage one in my closet, a harsh reminder of what the years have given and what they've taken away.
I pull it on and see myself in its threads: