October 27th, 2013
I went out this morning for my daily run/walk. I say “run/walk.” I used to say “run.” Now I say “run/walk.” It’s really “walk.” I am still in denial about the whole knee pain situation.
Anyway, I digress.
I went out this morning for my daily run/walk. Most days I listen to books via Audible on my iPhone while I run/walk because a good book with a compelling storyline and a talented reader who keeps me hanging on every word makes me want to keep run/walking so I don’t have to go inside and work/work. It’s a fabulous way to procrastinate/procrastinate and still feel a wee bit virtuous. I’m reading and exercising! In fact, I am pretty much on track to finish 100 Kindle, traditional and audiobooks this year as part of my Goodreads goal.
This morning I had to fumble a bit before getting Audible up and running. (Thank you iOS 7 for making me add a password.) While I was mashing virtual buttons on the minuscule screen without benefit of my reading glasses, I ran/walked several yards, not looking at the first thing except that tiny screen.
Suddenly it hit me. Smoke. Specifically, wood smoke from someone’s fireplace.
Now, I’m not big into fireplaces with smoke because of sensitive sinuses and a strong tendency to get painful sinus infections when exposed to smoke of any sort. But small doses of outside smoke from someone else’s fireplace a half mile away is rather nice. It says, “Fall!” It says, “Time to reflect and slow down.” It says, “Drink some hot chocolate and take a nap!”
It’s a smell with dozens of associations from childhood and from the happiest (and a few sad) times of my life. That smell was accompanied by the nature music of my feet brushing aside the fallen leaves as I walked up the driveway.
“Slow down!” I said to myself. (But don’t stop running/walking!)
I put away the iPhone and looked at the mosaic of colors—red, yellow, brown, green and every color of fall, punctuated by the occasional, fearless rose, salvia and celosia.
If I could bottle up that fantastical combination of smell, sound, fresh air, color—and the rush of the run/walk—I would be richer than Oprah.
Alas, no one has figured out how to capture the magic of Mother Nature, although artists, photographers, musicians and perfumers still try.
But I am still rich. I am rich because I can appreciate the gifts Mother Nature hands out for free to anyone willing to pause in their run/walk through life and appreciate it.
November 25th, 2011
I have mixed feelings about fall and the coming winter.
I wander the garden and yard looking at the carpet of wet leaves. They would be a lot more beautiful if they would just voluntarily hop right into those bags for composting. They have nearly all fallen now except the two zelkovas, which stubbornly hold on to the leaves until I have raked up all the others. Then those rascally zelkovas drop them all the next day within about five minutes.
How do they know?
Trees have fallen in the fall as well, like giant pick-up sticks. More mess that will require a chainsaw. Chickweed is creeping into the neglected beds.
I wake up in the dark. The days are so short now that the chickens go to roost at 3:30 in the afternoon.
I try to reframe my view of autumn.
The shorter days mean there is less time for frolicking with my rake and leaf bags. But I’m as happy sucking up books as a drunk at an open bar wedding reception.
The cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes are gone. But I have a robust crop of Swiss chard. I have even managed to outsmart the deer by netting it. Lettuce, spinach and arugula are thriving in the cold frame. Cabbages and Brussels sprouts will be ready for harvest soon. The salvia is blooming. Chickens love chickweed.
Without the leaves, I can see more of the majestic, sculptural beauty of the trees.
Yes, I have mixed feelings about the change of seasons. I will work on seeing the glass half full.
(Click on the photos to embiggen.)