Seasons

Ohioans are fortunate because we have four distinct seasons. Of these, spring is gentle and delicate. Winter is a harsh time of hibernation. Summer’s humidity and heat are brutally oppressive. I hibernate a lot then too.

But fall, oh fall! It’s deliciously beautiful. It’s cinnamon rolls, wood smoke, denim jackets and fresh apples. It’s pumpkin carving, long hikes and picnics under the maple trees.

Fresh air, blue skies and vibrant leaves in unexpected colors are hallmarks of this amazing season.

It’s the best season. It’s also ridiculously short.

Since it will soon be dark at 4:30 p.m. and the cold will soon move in, I have decided to make hay while the sun shines. I have been out for hikes and quick walks as much as possible this month and am grateful for each and every day this was possible.

Soon, I’ll have to work a little harder to be outdoors and keep thinking I need to buy better hiking clothes to make winter adventures more comfortable.

Fall is fleeting but so is life. As in nature, we all experience seasons in life. They aren’t always happy or beautiful times. It often feels like the happy moments pass in the blink of an eye while challenging periods seem to drag on forever.

Enjoy those beautiful, happy days to their fullest. Take the hike, pick the apples, breathe that crisp autumn air. And when the skies turn dark as winter settles in, look for ways to enjoy those days too.

These pictures are from my hike at Buzzard’s Roost after work last night. It was a quick 2.25 miles for exercise rather than for the near spiritual outdoor experience I described earlier this week.

Yet, I found myself occasionally coming around a bend to stop dead in my tracks. It was just that beautiful.

Someday, I’m going to pack a picnic and a book and linger on this bench. doesn’t that sound like a great way to enjoy a season?

Today is supposed to be gorgeous here in southern Ohio and I intend to enjoy every minute. Wherever you are, please go do the same.

No Winter Lasts Forever

No winter lasts forever, no spring skips its turn. Hal Borland

This was the view from my window early yesterday morning. While I will be happy for spring wildflowers, hikes and sunny adventure days, I’m equally happy to hold onto winter a bit longer.

We received about six inches of snow Friday night. Saturday was cold and windy and best spent indoors. It was nice cozying up in bed with my book and cat to luxuriate in the knowledge that our muddy brown landscape is again blanketed in something truly beautiful.

I did venture out for a bit to get my hair done but was quite happy to return home to make a good dinner and spend the evening on the couch watching a movie with Scout.

Of course, I do live in Ohio and this is actually the time of year we can experience all four seasons in a span of days. It will be in the fifties on Monday and in the seventies again by Thursday. It’s hard to tell what the following week will bring.

There’s something to be said for simply enjoying whatever this day brings and to remember that no season lasts forever. Every day is a gift and should be treated as such – even if you do think the weather is crazy!

An Unusual Fall

This has been an unusual fall.

Many summer flowers continue to bloom and this gorgeous tree still has all its leaves despite the fact its neighbors dropped theirs long ago.

It’s a little odd to see pansies and roses blooming next to pumpkins but it’s nice too.

We should appreciate whatever life and beauty and unexpected goodness we can find around us.

Winter is coming.

Blink And You Miss It

I blinked and it was suddenly fall. The transition has been happening for some time but the early stages of fall happen so slowly and quietly that it’s often hard to see it coming.

Here’s to glorious blue skies and spectacular foliage, steaming bowls of soup, pumpkin bread, cute scarves and all the comforts of this season. It’s fall y’all. Go enjoy it!

Cultivating a Better Life

I like to take vacation around the holidays. This period is perfect for a forced slow down, to transition from three seasons of busy into my season of quiet.

The rest of the year is occupied by a lot of running around but our unpredictable winter weather often makes it hard to get out. I look forward to this time of year- soft blankets and books, inside chores and quiet walks through the snow take the place of road trips, weekend adventures and breakfasts on the porch.

January is typically a no spend month for me. This organized spending fast means bills are paid and necessities purchased but making do is the common theme and there are no frivolous purchases. Recreational shopping is not allowed but that’s ok because there are many free ways to stay happily occupied.

I’m more apt to do puzzles, to go to bed early and to spin records while cleaning something on a Saturday afternoon.

Relaxation is key and I turn my attention inward, write more, focus on self improvement and on building a better life.

It’s a good time of year.

This vacation is about transitioning into that period. I spent a couple of days running around but today will bake Christmas cookies for my folks. From now until the New Year the plan is to be mostly domestic.

Although, if the weather is good, there may be one last little road trip for the year, a Christmas gift to myself. After Natalie died, I realized that life is too short to not live as we wish.

This week is also about refocusing on plant based eating, exercise and rest. The last couple of months have brought spurts of stress and busyness that have messed with my sleep and left me in a position that I’m glad to just eat vegetarian while away from home rather than the plant based food that makes me feel so good.

In other words, friends, I’m making this break exactly what I need it to be. My wish for all of you is that you get a few days each year to do that for yourself. Remember, today is a great time to start.

Looks Like Fall

I snapped this with my phone in downtown Chillicothe after having dinner with a friend last week.

Something about the light and shadows that evening made me think of fall. It was actually cool all day, a welcome reminder that fall isn’t too far away.

Incidentally, does anyone know what kind of tree that is? Tell me in the comments if you know.