On Giving Thanks

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In this season of life, there are so many things to be thankful for. For the wind and the wild, the birds, trees, the rushes by the lake, the stormy sky and the glowing moonrise. For sunshine warming your back, for hot tea and books and folktales and stories of the unknown. For family and friends gathered together, and for breaking bread and quiet nights at the hearth. And mostly for love and kindness and joy.

On Friendship
by Kahlil Gibran

Your friend is your needs answered.
He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving.
And he is your board and your fireside.
For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace.

When your friend speaks his mind you fear not the “nay” in your own mind, nor do you withhold the “ay.”
And when he is silent your heart ceases not to listen to his heart;
For without words, in friendship, all thoughts, all desires, all expectations are born and shared, with joy that is unacclaimed.
When you part from your friend, you grieve not;
For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence, as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.
And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.
For love that seeks aught but the disclosure of its own mystery is not love but a net cast forth: and only the unprofitable is caught.

And let your best be for your friend.
If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also.
For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?
Seek him always with hours to live.
For it is his to fill your need, but not your emptiness.
And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.
For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.

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Embracing November

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A male Ring Necked Duck pictured above, and a female pictured below.

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An American Widgeon.

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My first sighting of a Townsend’s Solitaire.

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I absolutely love this time of year. What could be more wonderful than the slow, quiet of the early evenings and the wonder of the first snowfall? We are wrapped in the last few days of fall, and there are only a few trees still brazen enough to hold onto their yellow leaves. The rest have all turned brown or fallen, leaving behind bare branches and a peek at the nests hidden therein. We turn to our own nests now, curling up with endless mugs of tea, books, and music to enchant and inspire. The hearth is burning bright and soft, the candles assembled along window sills and on the table. We dust off cookbooks to find new recipes for soups and roasted vegetables, and the air is filled with cinnamon and spice.

Martinmas was last weekend, a holiday focused on bringing your inner light to the world during the darkest time of year. In Waldorf schools, we celebrate with lantern walks, and each brightly shining lantern is a symbol of our own inner light. Though our own Martinmas celebrations were a bit curtailed this year due to scheduling conflicts, I’m still holding space for the image of the lantern, and the reminder to nurture our inner light in these darkening days.

Here’s a little verse I found on Instagram that I absolutely love:

November comes
and November goes,
with the last red berries
and the first white snows.

With night coming early,
and dawn coming late,
and ice in the bucket
and frost by the gate.

The fires burn
and the kettles sing,
and the earth sinks to rest,
until next spring.

-Clyde Watson

Wishing all a peaceful and restful week.

Michaelmas in the Garden {Slipping into Autumn Rhythms}

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Here we are again – my favorite time of year! I always look forward to the slowing down that happens in the fall, and the gentle rhythms that unfold during this time of year. Recently I’ve been enjoying time in the mornings in particular. The house is still quiet from the night, and everything is gentler for the chill on the air. I love the feeling of sliding into warm slippers and drinking tea next to the warm baseboard heaters. I sit and watch the birds come and go from their feeders, our cold weather companions are back – chickadees, nuthatches, bluejays and flickers all visiting our little yard. This colder time requires a more thoughtful approach to the day, and I’ve been trying to incorporate this intention into my rhythm. There is an urge to make more, to settle in, put things away, and tidy for the coming winter. My mom and I made applesauce yesterday, and we are looking forward to more treats in the coming weeks.

In celebrating Michaelmas we acknowledge the opportunity to make new resolutions and to move into the coming season with courage and determination. Part of my hope for this season is to spruce up this space a bit more. I think my taxonomy needs a makeover, and I’m looking forward to organizing so Oak and Acorn can have a new look for the winter. I’ve also been considering new regular installments on the blog. Is there anything you, dear reader, are interested in learning more about? Holidays and Seasons? Recipes? Music? This is a time to stretch out and explore the possibilities this space holds.

Sending cozy fall greetings to all.