" The end of the summer is not the end
of the world. Here's to October . . . "
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.
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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.
Today's photos are mine