Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Autumn Lessons

 
"Every leaf speaks bliss to me,
Fluttering from the autumn tree."

-- Emily Brontë, English Novelist and Poet 

After a few days of chilly weather, the trees took notice. It's easy to miss these early signs if I'm not alert. But this year, I'm paying attention. At first, the world around me seems unchanged, lush and green, as if summer will last forever, but I wouldn't want that. All year, I wait for autumn, and the equinox arrives on September 22nd. 

"Around and around the house the leaves fall thick—but never fast, for they come circling down with a dead lightness that is sombre and slow. Let the gardener sweep and sweep the turf as he will, and press the leaves into full barrows, and wheel them off, still they lie ankle-deep." 
-- Charles Dickens, Bleak House


“I cannot endure to waste anything so precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house."

--Nathaniel Hawthorne, The American Notebooks (1842)


"Autumn is the perfect time to take account of what we’ve done, what we didn’t do, and what we’d like to do next year."
-- Author Unknown





🍁 Become a student of autumn. Make time each day to observe trees and foliage.  If weather permits, sit in the sunshine for a few minutes. If you enjoy photography, study shadows and shifting light. Keep track of sunrises and sunsets. Mark the "golden hour" in a journal. Take daily photos to document the season.

 🍁 Autumn teaches us to let go with grace. Endings are often necessary, preparing us for beginnings. Break the habit of "holding on." If a door needs to be closed, let it slam shut. Another will fly open. If possible, learn to embrace change. 

🍁 Where were you in September 2016? A different town? A different place in your mind and body?  Have you reached your goals? Were they realistic? Review all of your accomplishments, no matter how small, and congratulate yourself. Set new goals. Make sure they fit your one and only life. 

🍁 Autumn is the time when bird watchers become sky watchers. Now is the time to take migration notes.  Squirrel watching is another favorite activity at our house.

 🍁 Carve out time for yourself. Make a pot of spiced tea. Bake an apple cake (mixes and canned apple pie filling are delicious and save time). Gather colorful leaves and press them into a thick book. Cut vibrant tree branches and place them in vases. Collect mementos that capture your fancy: acorns and fallen, oddly shaped branches.

26 comments:

  1. Every year I gather up a sack or a basket full of pine cones... and use them around the house until after Christmas. For a couple of years I had a friend who'd bring me some from her yard thinking she was saving me the time and the trouble. I was always appreciative and thankful but she didn't understand. It's not about the pine cones. It's the being outside and spending time with my thoughts and nature. Gathering pine cones is just the excuse I made....

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    1. That could almost be a poem, "Gathering Pine Cones." I know exactly how you feel.

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  2. Such beautiful pictures! Many thanks

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  3. Michael Lee, Thank you for reminding me of what I was doing a year ago. Such a pleasant memory. Thanks for your suggestions.🍁🍁🍁

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  4. Yes, I love this time of year too. Being outside in the cooling evenign air, enjoying a hot cup of coffee on a chilly morning on the veranda watching the sun rise over the east mountain, it is the small moments to stop and breathe that stay in the mind. And I too gather pine cones for the same reason as Cindy.

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    1. I agree. The extreme summer heat is a distraction. Cold winter days are downright painful. But autumn is well nigh perfect for long nature walks. Without the heat or cold, I'm free to think and to just be.

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  5. Beautifully written and I have noticed some maple trees turning red and the poplar trees turning yellow. Now, it just needs to cool down again. It is hot!

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    1. I'm seeing color in the trees much earlier than last year. Fingers crossed.

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  6. I say it every time I see your beautiful Tennessee landscape. You live in gorgeous country!
    Autumn is my favorite season. It's not always a drastic change weather wise here in TX, but it's a shift from the heat of summer. I love the earthy colors, the crisp air in the morning, and the urge to get in the kitchen and bake. Happy Autumn!

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  7. Thank you for your photos from the hilltop, Michael Lee, and the beautiful quotes, and reminders for the season. I'm waiting for Fall to arrive! It's hard with temps nearing 100 degrees today.

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    1. Oh, no! 100 degrees calls for iced tea, ice cream, and BLTs. Hope cooler weather comes your way, Kitty!

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  8. I think everyone loves fall Michael Lee, such a dramatic time of year with so many magical and subtle changes, you are so smart to remind us to be observant~

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  9. It's a little bit fallish around here, but still hot. Ready for fall weather! Beautiful post!
    Brenda

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    1. I think we're getting 70-degree temps next week, and I can't wait!

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  10. Just lovely, Michael! Your mums are gorgeous, do you plant new ones every year or do yours come back like that? By the way, you may want to pop over for a visit to my blog today and meet my new little sweet furbaby! I bet she'd love to play with your sweet Jasper!

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    1. My mums didn't volunteer (the marigolds did, and they are still putting on a show), so I planted new. In the past, mums volunteered, but I did nothing to facilitate the process.

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  11. I love this. And I especially love "what we've done, we didn't do , and what we'd like to do next year". That's so me, the reviewer and list maker. Beautiful photography, Michael. You're such a good study of nature. I appreciate you sharing it all.

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    1. I just made a list today--and kicked off a long overdue project. Fingers crossed.

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  12. My favorite time of year! Soaking up the fall air and colors! Pumpkins and corn stalks and hay bales OH MY !!! I REALLY enjoy your writings and posts! Wish we were friends!

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  13. Ah,such tranquil photos, Michael! I do love autumn's golden light and crisp air and smell of decaying leaves, but as it augurs the damp, gray, cold and barren landscape of winter, I always like to hang on to the last vestiges of summer as long as I can. Although I know the autumn season seems to be the favorite of the majority, I can only muster half the enthusiasm for it. I do hope to see a video of Jasper frolicking in the leaves(hint ;)!

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  14. Such inspiration and your photos are amazing as always!
    Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!
    Blessings,
    Cindy

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