autumn joys, stepping back and listening

Autumn is officially here.

It's been seeping in for a while now. A red leaf here, an acorn there, a bit more autumnal each day as the days get shorter and the air gets cooler. There are pumpkins in the stores now and mums everywhere. On the one hand I'm excited for its arrival, on the other I'm a bit melancholy about summer's end (the dwindling roses and tomatoes, especially!). It doesn't help that it's been cold and dark and rainy here in Cleveland. Not exactly autumn at its best. But autumn (or summer or spring or winter) at its best is really pretty rare. Even on the ickiest let's-just-stay-in-bed-all-day sorts of days, there's something beautiful or interesting or worth noticing. Don't you think? A tiny crack in the clouds to reveal a fleeting patch of blue sky, the sound of rain on the roof, a cozy blanket and steaming mug of tea.

Here are some of my recent autumn Joys:
wearing corduroys and turtlenecks
making soup
baking potatoes
putting on the fire in our gas fireplace
burning candles
wearing socks
bringing in the houseplants
drinking my tea hot, not iced

I'm in major nesting mode, too. Cleaning, rearranging, working on nearly forgotten crochet squares for another blanket. All these activities have kept me from my art this past week and I've been feeling the pull of my studio. I've realized that I need to listen when I'm feeling out of sorts. Last week I decided that although I didn't really feel like it, I needed to hang a mirror in the bathroom. It had been sitting around waiting to be hung for about a week. I felt obligated to keep "accomplishing things". Sometimes it's good to push yourself when you don't really feel like doing something. Sometimes it's not. This time it was not. I ended up breaking the mirror and having to clean broken glass out of the toilet. After a self-indulgent cry, I took my camera and the dogs outside and spent some time in the garden. I focused my camera on a rose and then I saw a flutter out of the corner of my eye.

This sweet painted lady was happy to let me photograph it as it enjoyed the verbena flowers.

Again and again I need to remind myself to listen and pay attention to my thoughts and feelings. I'm not really sure why that is. Guess I'm just a slow learner.

What about you? What have you been up to lately? How has autumn (or spring!) been making its presence known in your days?


  1. Hi Anne. It is good to have you back! Your photos are wonderful and I especially like the first one. I love your Autumn joys list and I would agree with all of them. I am learning to slow down and take stock before moving ahead with things. I have wanted to create something all week but knew if I did I would just rush it and not be happy. So I didn't! Hopefully I will be able to start to create again when I have organised the chaos around me. Have a joyful Autumn week!

  2. Your citrus is spectacular!

    I spent the afternoon emptying much of the studio, the only carpeted room in the house. The carpet will be cleaned tomorrow morning. Looking forward to the fresh look, not so much all the hauling out and hauling back. *sigh*

    I do love the fall, and really must get out with my camera. You have inspired me, Anne!


  3. I made a list the other day too! I hope the sun has found it's way to you in Cleveland. It has been beautiful here. Sorry that happened to you mirror. What a good lesson in not doing something if you don't really feel like it. I think we are so often trying to get so much done it looks like your choice to turn to your garden was a perfect one. Love the photos! xo

  4. Hello Anne! I'm enjoying cooler weather and the first leaves changing color. I love Autumn and this year plan to go to as many harvest fairs and walks by our lake as possible!
    Your photographs are beautiful and I know what you mean about forcing yourself to accomplish things. Learning to listen to our thoughts and feelings takes a lifetime!
    I love all the autumn joys you listed.

  5. Well here in the UK the temperature dropped and the skies opened and dropped rain for days!! Floods everywhere. I'm hibernating like you and snuggling in.

  6. Hi Anne!! Your pictures are lovely!!
    Here in the Uk it has been raining a lot in these last days (as Claire just told you), but today it's a bit sunny and better!! I really like autumn, when it's not bad...but I'm not sure this year we're going to have a nice autumn.
    ...I like warm drinks ...and I like Tomato soup, that I didn't eat in Italy...and I really love it! So during my break's at work, I think I'm going to drink hot chocolate and Tomato Soup! :)

  7. Hi Anne :) I too will miss my tomatoes and my roses and zinnias. My salvia has done exceptionally well this year I guess it is a true heat tolerant plant. I am also sad to see summer go. While I love October and Halloween especially, I love my garden and summer barefoot days. I have dragged in my houseplants, too and get great enjoyment from them. Luckily I have my greenhouse to keep my gardening obsession to a low roar, haha... beautiful pictures dear.

  8. Hi Anne! Autumn is bittersweet but you seem to always find those veins of gold, be it a break in the clouds or a butterfly. Thank you for telling us how you pulled yourself out of disappointment into joy. Its nice to know others have these moments too and how to overcome it. Going outside is a great way to perk up but if its too rainy/cold, I like making soup! We are on the cusp of cold weather here in Colorado. It makes me hoard moments in the garden and farmer's market like a squirrel gathering nuts. Thanks for the lovely photos.

  9. Anne, I see you have an orange growing in a pot. That orange makes a fantastic marmalade. I have sent a recipe to your dad.


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