On the Last Day of August -- Collecting Joys, Writing Mantras, Savoring Now and Embracing What Is

Today is the last day of August. Summer officially has a few more weeks, but somehow the end of August always feels a bit like the end of summer. Despite my best efforts at savoring, I keep finding myself fighting against this change from summer into autumn. Sad about it. Reluctant. Frustrated. It's ridiculous, really. We have no control over the seasons, the weather, the clouds or sun or rain. Savoring each moment is good, but I think when I was writing about that last week my mindset was more, savor each moment that is sunny and summery and happy.

black and blue salvia, fennel, garden flowers, late summer flowers, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

It's as if I was thinking that I could keep all those beautiful moments collected in a jar, opening the lid whenever I need a little sunshine. Sure that's a nice idea, but I can't collect sunshine in a jar.

nasturtiums, nasturtium flowers, garden flowers, garden bouquet, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Every bouquet of flowers I bring in will only last so long. Every colander full of tomatoes will eventually be eaten.

tomatoes, vintage colander, harvest, summer, heirloom tomatoes, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I can fight against reality, against the progression of the seasons, against bad news, against a rainy day, or I can find the joy in each present reality.

roses, pumpkins, english roses, david austin roses, white pumpkins, mini pumpkins, summer, autumn, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Lately I've been writing mantras on scraps of paper and hanging them on a shelf in my studio with some washi tape.

mantras, studio, reminders, washi tape, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

They're reminders for me. Words I need to hear.
  • cultivate stillness
  • kindle gratitude
  • savor now

and my newest: "embrace what is"

sunflowers, garden, summer, end of summer, late summer, sunflower bud, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

It's one I really needed. Embrace what is. There is beauty, there is joy, there is grace in the present reality. Even if it is difficult. Even when I wish that things were different than they are. Now is all that we ever have. Now. The choice is mine. Do I fight it or do I embrace it.

Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

My joy list for today:

  • my kitty purring on my lap while I type
  • collecting acorns on our walks
  • a steaming hot mug of coffee
  • a streak of orange in the maple tree in the backyard
  • rearranging my studio
  • morning fog
  • tomatoes waiting in the kitchen
What about you? What will you put on your joy list today?


  1. It's so funny how different we all can be, yet have these wonderful friendships online. I am dreading the weather here in Vermont this week...forecast is for mid to high 80's. My LEAST favorite season is summer and I look forward to my favorite...autumn. I love the fall garden, filled with squash and chard and onions. Soups and stews and flannel shirts and woolen socks are what my dreams are made of. And the foliage...oh, the foliage in Vermont!

    There will be much savoring, Anne--your last days of summer and my first of fall. Being in the moment and appreciating all that we have is the trick!


    1. It is funny how different we can be. The fact that one person likes something that someone else can't stand. I do love the fall garden, and soups and stews and foliage (which is also beautiful in Wisconsin) and flannel shirts (though I prefer bare feet to socks!). I don't like cold, damp, dark rainy days, which I often associate with autumn. I don't like hot, humid, stick-to-everything, buggy summer days, either. So much about it is perspective. And remembering to be in the moment and savor each little bit.

      Wishing you all the beauties of the end of summer and beginning of autumn, Karen.

  2. The more I visit your blog, the more I love nursturtiums, Anne!! Like Karen, I prefer Autumn, but I've come to appreciate Summer through your eyes. Beautiful photos, especially the one of your lovely face!

    1. Thanks so much, Judy. And I'm glad you're falling for nasturtiums. They're so charming (and are taking over my garden this year!). Hope you are enjoying the slide into Autumn.

  3. Lovely to see you Anne! You have a wonderful face and the most pretty coloured eyes! I am happy to see the passing of Summer as it never lives up to my expectations although I can understand your sadness in letting it go. Your photos are gorgeous especially of the squash and the vase of flowers - a great composition - will you paint it? :-)

    1. Thank you, Simone. I felt a little weird sharing a photo of me because I don't often share photos of myself, but it was me, perfectly in the moment, savoring and I wanted to capture it.

      Don't know if I'll paint the roses and pumpkins. Maybe in the winter when I'm looking for things to paint.

      Hope you're enjoying the shift of summer to autumn!

  4. Hi Anne,
    I love your eyes! Beautiful!! It was fun to see a photo of you today.
    I am excited for Autumn colors and cool, crisp weather.

    1. Thank you, Carla, for your kind words!

      Autumn certainly has its beauties and joys and I will be glad to savor them, too. Lots to look forward to!

      Enjoy the changing season!


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