Changing Colors

Walking to the garage after work yesterday, this November child revelled in the colors.

Just as in the spring when only for a little while does the green shine in new-ness, the orange hues of the maple  cried out in a blaze of glory.  The wet ground and soaked sidewalks, the gray skies and dreary day in general were the perfect backdrop to illuminate the radiance.

I loved it.  For a moment I felt I could be in New England or even in England; I could be in any time period.  Truly, it felt timeless.  Yet the very nature of the colors speak to the inevitability of time passing, the certainty of change.

This moment, though, I inhale, taking it all in, and exhale, letting it all go, hoping that in doing so I not only let go of that which I love and want to cling to but also release that which does not bring me joy and weighs on my heart and mind.  Yes, we can be attached to the negative, too.

As certain as change is, I’m reminded that I will see these colors again.  The exact pattern of the fallen leaves may change.  The trees I gaze upon may be different, but the autumn will return.  Such is life.

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Autumn is Here

With the ceiling fan on and what feels like an open window, I seek the warmth of a blanket.  It’s time to bring out my wool shawl.

I had the immense pleasure this weekend of retreating in the woods, an annual event now during a weekend when the ground rumbles with the vibration of thousands of motorcycles.  Actually, even in the wooded hills, we could hear the rumble on our hike.  At six o’clock in the morning, though, a couple of us sat on the porch in the rockers, listening for owls in the trees.  The ground was still.  The small throw I had was just big enough to cover my arms, and when we went inside to make breakfast, I could feel the morning chill on my cheeks and hands.  It was time for a fire.  Our morning prayer sounded out, accompanied by the crackle and warmth emitting from the hearth.

That afternoon, I brought my knitting to the parlor room and sat by the dark fireplace.  With door open, the fresh breeze was cool and refreshing.  After knitting and napping a bit, the sun dipped below the trees, and a chill returned.  An hour later, I built a fire, awakening the room with comfort and warmth.  A room in which to share good conversation . . . and more knitting.

Autumn is a season of lamplight and glows from fires, gentle chills removed by an extra layer.  Extraordinary sunlight and brilliant blue skies and days so gray to test your memory and resolve.  There’s the brilliant burst of energy and color, if we are so lucky and conditions are just right.  Then there’s the falling away.  More gray than color.  More darkness.  An expected death.  Quiet.  Freeze.

In Autumn, life is still easy and the harvest abundant.  The colors truly are amazing.  We have to enjoy it while it lasts, for this, too, shall pass.

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Indian Summer


This whole week embodies an Indian summer.  We’ve had our first frost.  All the trees have come aglow, and most have dropped their leaves.  I chanced upon this ginko tree at the park the day before Halloween; they drop their leaves so quickly.  Their golden leaves must be too heavy to hold for long.

And this week (which happened to include my birthday) reminds me of the renewal I feel in the fall, the creativity, optimism and groundedness.  Quite simply, I give thanks.  My blessings abound.  My gifts continue to create a beautiful harvest and provide me with plenty of work to be joyfully busy.

Even when the sun hides behind the clouds, as it undoubtedly will sometime soon, and the nighttime increases, I’ll let the Light glow from within and cherish the time to let my hands create gifts for those I love.

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Fall Clearing

There’s “spring cleaning,” and I figure what I’m going through now is “fall clearing” — when it’s time to clear the clutter, make some organizational shifts, and make sure my priorities are in line before the long nights of winter set in. (It only seems far off; we know how time gets away from us.)  Honestly, the coming fall fills me with as much excitement as spring, just in a different way.

The days have just been hot enough to make you sweat, and many nights have been cool enough to cut the a/c and open the windows.  I sense a pull to what is natural, intuitive.  I’m making decisions based on a gut feeling, and great things are happening, however seemingly small they might be.

All this is related in that by clearing out some of the stuff that’s filling my days, my house, my mind, I am making room for quiet, for creativity, for Divine energy to move about and through me.  I love being aware of the synchronicities as they unfold, and I love having time to participate in them.  I offer unbounded thanks to those who are able and willing to participate with me.

This morning, after daddy took the older children to school, I was clearing the breakfast table (from a yummy feast of omelets and potato cakes).  Table clear, dog having eaten the leftovers, I gathered up the compost.  The youngest had been going in and out the back door, revelling in her ability to open and close the sliding glass door, talking in her suddenly realized vocabulary about the cat and dog being in and out, out and in.  I watched her through the windowraspberries_3439_l when she was outside making a barricade of her body so the cat couldn’t go any further.  Of course, the cat just walked around her.  Suddenly, she ran inside to get a “tiny bowl.” “Mommy come?” she asked.  I slipped on my shoes and grabbed the compost.  It was time again to get a little raspberry snack.  I dumped my bowl of scraps and grounds and then searched with childlike enthusiasm for the dark red treats, wondering why I had ever worried about the birds and the bugs getting them all.  We have to share.  With our snack-sized bounty, we turned to the house.  Behind the glass door, I saw my husband smiling, coffee in hand, and I relished the moment when our little one realized her daddy was back home.

It truly is the little moments that make life rich, even if we tend only to remember the big events.  As I continue my late summer and early fall clearing, I hope to continue to embrace the time given to do what need be done but also be who and where I need to be.  I wish no less for you, with love.

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Reality Check

Finally, I see where all the fall colors come from.  So often each tree changes to its one color, then the leaves drop and become the brown, crunchy mass.  This past week, I’ve seen trees in all shades, from blazing orange to fiery red to brilliant gold.  Yesterday I even saw one of the most beautiful fall maples with shades from green to yellow and red to orange.  If I hadn’t been driving, I think I would have stopped to bask in its brilliance.

There’s no doubt we’re in the midst of fall now; the leaves are quickly dropping, the nights are cold, the holiday goods are out in all the stores, and the lights being put all around the square.  Now I figure is a good time to be honest with myself and take a good look at where I am, who I am, what I’m doing and where I’m going.  I should have done this on my birthday, but I was too busy doing.  I’m getting signs that now would be a good time.  (I share this with you not to boast or brag or complain out loud but rather to encourage you to take time to do the same for yourself at some point.)

note_creative_author.jpgI ground myself in my writing.  To write, I must be still so as to receive the truth that is being channeled through me.  I have to be careful about my influences, for everything in my environment affects how I interpret any given moment.  When writing, I feel my closest connection to the Divine and feel that this is my right livelihood.  Going forward, I make a conscious effort to write more daily, be a productive writer and establish myself as such.

I craft to disperse the creative energy in a physical, practical way.  Perhaps if I channeled all my creative energy into writing, I wouldn’t need to write more, but I enjoy greatly using my goods, giving handmade gifts and teaching the children how to make thin  Now I will increase my skills with what I have and make what I need or need to give.  I would like to make a few things well to sell in an Etsy shop.  That would be nice.

My relationships with others I feel has always been golden.  I do my best to be authentic with them, to listen well and to be participatory.  With my children and husband, I have to make a conscious effort to love myself well so that I may love them wholly.  We are currently seeking a family counselor so as to address our needs, for raising kids is harder than we ever imagined it could be.  We need some help, and asking for help is completely okay.  It’s better to ask for help than to sink into despair, withdrawing from yourself and others.  May we be always honest, loving and respectful of ourselves and each other.

In the daily round, I am pleased with where my expectations are.  I’ve come a long way in understanding what I can and cannot do, steering myself away from the buckets of shoulds.  That’s not to say I don’t occasionally regress.  In a given day, like all mothers, I combine all my different roles.  I am at once a writer, wife, mother, spiritual seeker and birth advocate and educator/doula.  I’m sure that’s probably not even all aspects of my being, but they affect most of what I do, day in and day out.

As with the leaves, I am constantly changing.  Where I am today differs from yesterday and tomorrow, but if I can hear what I need from and for my soul, then I can visualize it and try my best to make it manifest.  To do so, I need some quiet, some time for me.  Thanks, Casey, for giving me that time yesterday when I needed it so badly.  Thanks, Kaye, for listening.

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Say It’s Your Birthday . . .

I can’t help but have the Beatle’s song going through my head today because it is, in fact, my birthday.  🙂  I have no vanity about it being only my day of birth, so I’m willing to share the joy with all the other brilliant Scorpios out there.

The reality of it is that this day is like any other, for the laundry doesn’t wash itself, nor the dishes.  The sick child will need to be held all day, and I’ll keep hoping that my remaining milk is helping her eyes and that we all won’t get whatever she has.  The deadlines remain, and I’ll have to clean the house yet again to restore it to the beauty it was before much of the family came over.

The blessing of this day, however, is that the stars have been
aligning, and my dreams have been potent.  I consider birthdays personalized New Year’s, so I have a chance to begin anew on resolutions fallen by the wayside.  Today I will be gentle with myself, encouraging, nurturing, and today my husband tells me he has a surprise in store.  Today is unlike most days in that on this day several years ago, my spirit entered this world fully into this body.  Hopefully each day I come closer to realizing my purpose, finding my calling, fulfilling God’s will.

Thank you, mom, for birthing me.  Thank you, family, for the love and gifts.  Thank you, Mother Nature, for the beautiful autumn colors that have remarkably lingered into November.  This weekend was a beautiful Indian Summer.

May we carry a bit of the magic and love of birth into every day of our lives.

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Perfectly Dreary Day

(Pardon my blogging absence; I’ll play catch-up the next couple of days.)

The temperature dropped throughout the day, and the skies grayed more deeply until finally it rained, softly at first, now steadily.  Today is a day to wax poetic . . . to sip tea before a fire, completely engrossed in a fantasy novel, whatever your fantasy might be, or to sit and gaze out an open window, feeling the wind carrying your mind and soul above and beyond where you ever thought you could go.

But me, I’ll visit with friends, catch up on e-mail, stop by the post-office, eat leftover chili and pick and choose which tasks need to be done first.  How does that make today different from any other day?

The air feels more like fall today.  The maples are getting particularly vibrant, and I feel that soulful restlessness.  I must create.  I must live vibrantly.  Do the ordinary tasks if I must, but the yearning for something different won’t subside.  That may be why when my son “had to go pee!” I pulled into our favorite park, let him use the restroom and then agreed to let them play at the castle for a few minutes.  We followed each other round and round the rock “castle” in the mystical, forceful air.

Perhaps I will wax poetic this evening and focus on writing or knitting or something besides household chores.  As a fall baby myself (and as I’ve mentioned before), I feel more aligned in the fall, like I’m where I’m supposed to be.  It’s okay to wonder, to question.  I believe that’s how we make soulful discoveries and find new paths, new ways to do things if not new things to do.  Perhaps my intuition speaks more loudly this time of year, or I listen more deeply.

Maybe the wind was blowing so hard today to wake me up, to clear my mind.  Stir my soul, o God, that I may be in perpetual motion and perfect ease within your Will, and thank you for this dreary day.

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Wood Oven Challah and Fall Fun

Fall is a great time to gather with friends.  Host your own
get-together.  Ideas abound online, or just do an old-fashioned
marshmallow and hot dog roast.  Do it potluck style so no one person is out the cost for the whole shindig.  Of course, as the host, you’ll have to do some cleaning on your own!




As the air turns cooler, you know we’re going to be
firing the oven as

often as we can.  We tried a challah recipe in the oven, it seems like the same day we did the cinnamon rolls.  We
pulled the recipe from the book The Bread Baker’s Apprentice, and it turned out wonderfully.  It won the kids’ approval, too.

We’re having another pizza party this weekend with a few family friends.  If you want to be in the rotation, you gotta tell us!  Those of you who have told us, know you’re already in que!  Pizza parties are a good time for all, and the kids even get to practice their dough tossing.

Whatever you’re doing this time of year, my it be done with joy and in the spirit of thanks.

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