It’s been a bit of a hard day. It’s the 7th of April. Shouldn’t the snow be melted and gone? Or at least well on its way to the never never land of past winters? I am impatiently waiting to see green shoots, to hear birdsong. Fortunately I do hear a few chickadees now and then, those cheerful little birds that never abandon us, no matter how bitter the winter winds may blow. Well, my spirit sank today as I watched a few flurries turn into big, fat flakes of snow falling from a gray and overcast sky. Yuck! Winter is fine but enough is enough already. I am longing for green shoots and new life.
There is new life promising to flower within the coming weeks, however. Last year my daughter gifted me with a hydrangea plant for Mother’s Day. It was so beautiful.
I loved it so much I couldn’t bear to throw it out even after its blossoms turned brown and dried out. I nursed it through the fall and through the long winter days. It has rewarded me with new shoots.
And so, while winter drags its feet in a long farewell I am reminded that life will be renewed again. Flowers will bloom again. Birds will sing their welcome to spring. I am reminded that even though that season tarries eventually she will make an appearance when she is good and ready. I must just have patience.
“By all these lovely tokens September days are here, With summer’s best of weather and autumn’s best of cheer.” – Helen Hunt Jackson
The green space behind our apartment building is bursting with gold – that bright and burnished gold of autumn. Looking out over that green space I am struck by how some trees are already naked while others are in full golden splendor. Others hang onto their greenery with a tenacity that is almost miraculous, and no, these are not evergreens. Two standing side by side, both the same but for their colors: one holds on tightly to its emerald sheen while the other has traded green for an amber hue.
for a stroll around the storm pond. A few ducks paddle there still, not quite
ready to migrate to warmer climes just yet. They linger on and likely will for
a few more weeks yet. It’s a joy to see them, as though their continued
appearance holds off the chill winds and frost that is sure to come – a fanciful
thought, I know.
Here are a few photographs of our “back yard”.
“Autumn … the year’s last, loveliest smile.” – William Cullen Bryant
Well, it’s true, I guess, there is a time and a season for everything under the sun. It’s been a busy summer – not much fun to be had while packing boxes etc. But that is behind me now. I am still not finished with the unpacking, but at a point where what’s left can be done bit by bit. I am so grateful for the help of my children, especially my daughter who came to help with it all. She returned to her home last evening. I will miss her terribly, but very appreciative of all she did. I cannot help but mention all the help my son and daughter-in-law were as well as my other daughter and her boyfriend. We are so blessed in our family.
My body still hurts somewhat and it will take a while to recover from it all but I am content with what we have accomplished so far. We even have a few pictures on the walls that makes this little place feel more homey. We have walked around the park-like setting that butts up against the back yard here and enjoyed watching the ducks in the pond (photos will follow soon). There isn’t a lot of summer weather left but I intend to enjoy it as much as possible before the chill of fall sets in. Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, I hope you’re enjoying the season. I am back ha ha. Cheers!
“Summer ends, and Autumn comes, and he who would have it otherwise would have high tide always and a full moon every night. – Hal Borland
“I saw old Autumn in the misty morning stand shadowless like silence, listening to silence.” – Thomas Hood
The sunlit days are growing shorter. Light fails earlier. In our region we had a rather dismal August. I had been hoping for better days in September, but alas the month is drawing to a close, and sunny, warm days have been few. It is somewhat depressing. Fall is such a short season here. I am trying my hardest to shake off the dark moods that seem to be tied to the season. I love fall. I am not a fan of winter. But, on the other hand, long winter nights in front of a fire are comforting. It is a great time to hunker down with a good book and a mug of something hot by my elbow. It is also a good time to hone whatever artistic or creative skills I may possess. It is also a wonderful time for day dreaming – mostly about balmy days, hopefully on a beach, or in the midst of a beautiful forest. Ah, hope ‘springs’ eternal!
Autumn is just about upon us. The days are growing shorter. As summer draws to a close I feel sad. Sad that I did not make the most of the warm season. Sad, I did not languish longer under the blue skies and hot sun. Isn’t that just life – to take the days for granted as though they are infinite. But like summer itself, life is short. We tend to take it for granted until something terrible happens. Perhaps that is the silver lining and the lesson in tragedies – they make us aware of the fragility of life.
I have been thinking a lot about my brother. He was killed when an impaired driver crashed into his vehicle in November of 2016. Sudden death is always horrible. It rocks your world and turns everything upside down. I know I am far from alone in experiences such as this. What is it about seasonal change that brings out such maudlin thoughts? And have you ever noticed that there are far more deaths in fall and winter than the rest of the year? Strange.
But I don’t want to be a downer. Chris was a very funny guy. I miss him. However, I will cease to ruminate on the sadness his death brought and focus instead on his many gifts. He was also very thoughtful and generous with a sunny nature. I wish there were more people like him.
Yet, we are all unique with precious gifts of self to offer. Whether we are artistic, creative, or just plain kind – we each have a gift to bring. My sister says she has no talent. But she’s wrong. She has a wonderful gift for helping people. She works in the psychiatric wing of a hospital in a fairly large city. She is well suited to her work as she is endlessly patient and forgiving, as well as wise and compassionate.
Whatever work you may do. Wherever you may live. I hope you recognize your talents, and that others do as well. I hope you know you matter and your life does make a difference. I hope you rock this world with loving kindness and that you know kindness! Until next time – Cheers!
Spring is in the air, even though there is still a couple of feet of snow on the ground it is days like this that lend me hope that summer is not too far off. The sun is shining, birds are visiting the bird feeders, and it’s good to be alive. You’ve got to love the end of February with its hope of winter’s end when you live in the north. Unless, of course, you are a lover of skiing, skating, snowboarding and other winter sports. I, however, enjoy none of those activities. I prefer the feel of spongy green grass under my feet or the sensation of toes curled in sand at a serene and quiet beach. Farewell to winter. I wish I could say I will miss you, but I won’t!
It’s officially fall now, I have a pot of split pea soup bubbling on the stove. The days are still warm enough to enjoy walks in the woods. I had a chuckle at a little squirrel that didn’t see or hear me in time to scurry off and instead froze like a statue to the branch it was on – Small delights on a beautiful sunny day. I enjoy the beauty of the season – but lament that it’s far too short. Far too soon the temperature will plummet and frost will decorate trees once festooned in colour. Every season has its merits, but fall has a delight all its own. Life is good!
“A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship. But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease.” – John Muir –
The city where I live is encircled by hills where trees stand along the ridges like silent sentinels. In full foliage they throw their shadows over the streets and give us protection from the heat of the sun. In fall their brilliant colour cheers the heart and makes saying good bye to warm weather a little less mournful. During winter with their branches frosted or ice laden a sense of fantasy and wonder is instilled. And in spring the first green shoots enliven us and breathe new life into our days. I love looking to the hills and to the trees.
Outside the city lays acres of untouched forest that bid me to come explore. I have always felt an attraction and affinity for trees. When I was a child I loved climbing trees – from their great heights I felt less small and insignificant. Now I stand at the base of the giant of the forest and feel minuscule – a mere speck in the universe as I ponder the tree’s age and wonder about all it may have experienced in its long life. I think about all the small creatures it shelters and all the birds that have nested here. ‘Grandfather’ I have named it, for it seems to harbor wisdom that only the eldest human might possess.
In my culture trees take pride of place at least once a year as we decorate them for the great feast of Christmas, when friends and family gather to share love and goodwill. Quiet moments staring at the twinkling lights of the Christmas tree are moments that link the years like a strand of brightly coloured beads.
Personally every time of year is a good time to celebrate trees in my book. For what can be more beautiful or graceful than the weeping willow or more statuesque than the Douglas fir? Trees of maple, oak, and birch that shed their leaves upon the earth creating a wondrous tapestry; Evergreens that comfort us with their greenery, even in the depths of winter; Trees give us oxygen, a means to keep warm, and shelter us from all life’s storms. What greater friend can we have than a tree?