Friday, October 01, 2021

Hello October: Seasonal Musings and Books



" The end of the summer is not the end
of the world. Here's to October . . . "
A.A. MILNE


There are times when I lament the passing of another month. September was lovely this year, and I am loathe to let it go though I have no choice in the matter. But this morning, I was reminded of why I could look forward to this first day of October. Not only do I get a ripple of pleasure from the small ritual of flipping the calendar page, wondering what shows up next, I also anticipate the arrival of the latest monthly newsletters from two of my favourite authors: Louise Penny and Alexandra Stoddard.

No matter what I'm feeling when I begin, I know that Louise, in the midst of informing readers about her latest writing ventures, often makes me laugh at some witty remark. And while she's reminding herself, she invites her readers to take courage, like Gamache, because life is still full of goodness in the midst of sorrows, tragedies, and pain. And as for dear Alexandra, she remains my long-time inspiration to choose to live life as beautifully as one can, no matter the circumstances. And even as we age, she reminds her readers to 'Be here now' in the moments when they unfold.

These lovely women invariably set the tone for the coming weeks. I didn't realize until this morning how much I look forward to their offerings every month. Their newsletters are posted on their respective websites so you can read them there: click for Louise's and Alexandra's. Or, you can sign up, if you want their missives popping into your inbox each month.

I wrote something from Louise's newsletter into my journal this morning, and I share it with you, for it speaks to me: 'Who knows the blessing of the sun except those who've emerged from the shadows? Who recognizes goodness, longs for goodness? Who is attracted to kindness, except those who have known the other? . . . Life isn't about being fearless, is it? It's about digging deep and finding courage. Finding we are braver than we ever thought possible.'


Virginia Creeper on the side fence


Our autumn kaleidoscope continues to play out scenes of colourful displays. Drives into the countryside have filled our joy tanks to the brim. As I mentioned before, we've had a perfectly lovely September. Oh sure, there have been some blustery, rainy days - and news on the Covid front nearly swamps us with sorrow for the pain of so many. But even as we take time to bear witness to the suffering of others, right dab in the middle of it all, there have been so many sweet moments of exquisite beauty to help lift our shoulders and brighten the path.

Deep drifts of leaves pile up in corners, under trees, in the garden beds, and along driveways and fence lines. Our young six-year-old neighbour was out gathering the colourful leaves one afternoon after school. He was quite ambitious in his quest and created quite the pile for the compost bin. I had to smile in chagrin, though, when I woke the next morning to find his hard work, along with his mom's and toddler sister's, had all been in vain. For there was another dump of leaves overnight from their big tree. As for myself, I am not a raker of leaves—I love the confetti of leaves laying about everywhere. If anyone feels the need to rake, be my guest; as for me, I'm enjoying the variegated bedspread of nature's handiwork.

* * *  

On other news, I'm working on a current family photo album for my mom. She says digital photos are fine, but she can only look at them on her computer. 'Tis true for many amongst us—there is nothing like holding an old-fashioned photo album in our hands while looking at the faces of those we love. Maybe even pressing those pages to our bosom, when getting together in person is still a thing to carefully consider for so many of us.

One novel I'm reading at the moment is an old time favourite: Anne of Windy Poplars by L.M. Montgomery. Set in the autumn and nature's richness described in ways that only LMM can do, Anne writes letters to Gilbert about her experiences as the new Principal of the girls high school in Summerside. Autumn scenes in the book mingle delightfully with the real life setting outside my window and creates a mood that makes me happy.




I am also working my way through the seasonal anthology Autumn with Editor Melissa Harrison. Already a good friend, the pages are penciled and starred with favourite lines. One line from contributor Nick Acheson caught my eye this morning: 'Yet even as winter's dark and cold and damp are presaged by the yellowing, dying vegetation all around, you spot a fresh little violet flower on a chalky bank. An autumn gentian, peeking bravely into bloom as all else fades.'

Made me think of my self-seeded Johnny-jump-ups who create tiny surprises around the garden this late in the season. They are still blooming, if you can believe it!

On that note, it's time to wrap up. I hope you have a beautiful weekend, and I wish you grace and heart's ease as we begin our travels through this new month.


Heart hugs,
Brenda

Today's photos are mine




21 comments:

  1. Lots of leaves and bare trees in our neighborhood already, but also lots of green trees yet too. I'm with you about leaving leaves lie where they lay (or lay where they lie?). I saw an amusing meme on social media that make me chuckle, and seems appropos--"You know if you don't rake your leaves, they turn into soil, right? They don't break into your house and drink all your wine or anything. :) Love your brilliant Virginia creeper! Happy fall!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha...I love the great fun that shows up on social media - so many people have a great sense of fun.

      Delete
  2. Here the grass is finally green again after the long dry summer. A few leaves are letting go and they are a joy to watch as they twirl to the ground. Another month or 6 weeks will see other trees baring their branches and I always enjoy scuffling through the leaves that gather along the curbsides.
    Your Virginia Creeper is showing off some beautiful colour.
    That's a great quote you pulled from Louise Penny's latest newsletter, which reminds me that I have not yet read it.
    Enjoy this beautiful month, Brenda.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Summer has let go at last. Today it was quite nippy in the air and smelled wonderful. Very autumn-y. Rick's been planting bulbs and soon it will be time to trim down the perennials and get things ready for the winter ahead.

      Delete
  3. yes it is a new month and new season...hurrah-our summers are never ending starting in May and ending now that's a looooong time. lol!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. At long last, you can start to emerge from all your air-conditioned spaces. I don't know how you cope in that heat and for so long!

      Delete
  4. Creating a photo album for your mother sounds like a lovely pastime. She will surely love it.

    So you have been going on some autumn foliage drives already...soon, it'll be time to go here. So looking forward to it.

    That carpet you speak of is so nice (for a few days anyway) that it is a shame to rake it all away.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm having a lot of fun putting the album together, it's a digital to print on Shutterfly. I keep imagining how much Mom will enjoy it once it's in her hands. Vee, I hope you have some amazing autumn foliage drives in the coming days.

      Delete
  5. Good evening, Bren. A lovely post. As you know, I am a great fan of Alexandra's. She is inspiration when all else seems to fail. I can't tell you how many times I have read her book, "Gracious Living in a New World." I always seem to find something new and that is most relevant for our current crazy times.
    Your photo album sounds like something your mom will really enjoy. Enjoy these October days, the Farmers Almanac predicts snow to fly early for us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sandra, I don't have that book of Alexandra's - I must look for it. We certainly need some gracious living in this new world we find ourselves in. If you are expecting early snow, I better get my skates on and get our garden put to bed. Rick's been out there working on planting bulbs, but now it's time to put perennials to bed. Hope you have a lovely weekend.

      Delete
  6. Those lovely fall colors last so short a time. it is during this season that I appreciate photos even more. thee trees may be bare but when I look at the fall photos I can keep on enjoying that beauty.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Ruth. Many trees around here are bare, but many are still are quite green. No doubt once the frost hits things will change. When I was young, I never liked the barren look of late autumn, but I since have come to appreciate its beauty.

      Delete
  7. Our trees are starting to shed their leaves too! Thankfully, I don't have to rake them.

    I concur that sometimes it's nice to print (and frame) the digital photos so they're more easily accessible.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Margie. I just finished the photo book for my mom and sent it off for printing. I'm so excited to give it to her.

      Delete
  8. Your writing is so soothing and inspiring, Brenda. I'm waiting for Louise's book from the library. She is one of my favourite authors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I so appreciate your kind comment! Are you planning to read the joint Louise Penny - Hillary Clinton novel, State of Terror? It comes out next week. I'm looking forward to it.

      Delete
  9. so delightful from beginning to end! I esp. enjoyed this part...I love the confetti of leaves laying about everywhere. If anyone feels the need to rake, be my guest; as for me, I'm enjoying the variegated bedspread of nature's handiwork.<3
    I reluctantly raked up a russet halo that fell overnight but seeing the joy on tots faces as they romped sweetened the regret a bit:)

    Happy October!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Janet, thank you! We've had some lovely sunsets of late. The light was shining on one set of yellow leaves in the Mountain Ash - it was quite mesmerizing to see. I knew the moment would be gone by the time I reached for the camera, so I just sat and let it settle on my mind's eye, a picture to be recalled any time. You mentioned a russet halo. It's all quite splendid, isn't it? What a gift is nature! And of course seeing the joy of those little faces will have been worth raking it up.

      Delete
  10. Your photo album has inspired an idea for a Christmas gift. My own mom has the same complaint: lack of photos to pore through. Thank you for that spark!

    I share your leaf-raking philosophy, but I hardly dare speak of it around the we-must-rake-up-every-single-leaf people in my family. 😉

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheryl, you have so many lovely family photos - I can well imagine the joy your mom will have pouring through some of them in a real hands-on physical album. Have fun!

      Hopefully those who must rake up every single leaf are the ones with the rake in their hands. Haha!

      Delete
  11. Best time of the year!
    Amalia
    xo

    ReplyDelete

To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xox

PS. I do not always comment here, but I do look forward to coming and visiting you....