Friday, October 23, 2015

Getting Lost in October -- Remembering to Appreciate Each Day

Just when I started getting used to the idea of October, I realized that it's almost over. Where has the month gone? It has been full. And I have been more than a little distracted.

Even so, I've been making a point to enjoy these beautiful October days. I'm grateful for all the warm weather and the sunshine.

greyhounds, autumn, leaves, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Every day I'm also grateful for these sweet dogs. They bring so much joy. Laughter. Adventure. Exercise. Play. (And, of course, love). They know how to savor the day without worries and I often think I should pay more attention and follow their lead.

We've been making a point of getting out in nature more and not just walking in the neighborhood. It's so easy to get stuck in a routine, in the day-to-day, to forget to explore and play.

wisconsin, autumn, hills, water, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

When we lived in the city we escaped to the woods regularly. Now that we're in a small town we don't feel the need as badly, but it's still there. I remember it as soon as I'm back amongst the tall trees.

nature, pines, blue skies, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

We're fortunate to have a park that's just a few blocks away where we can ramble.

autumn, autumn leaves, nature, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I was so reluctant for autumn to arrive. Not that I ever have any choice in the matter. But lately, even on the cold and grey days, I felt at peace with it. We gave in on the coldest days and turned on the heat. Home felt cozy. My plants in the windows.

desert rose, houseplants, succulents, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

houseplants, rosemary, oxalis, jasmine, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

Soup on the stove. Muffins or bread baking. Blankets. Quilts.

Frost arrived and the flowers in my garden are mostly gone now. I was glad to be able to bring in a few last bouquets.

nasturtiums, cosmos, flower arrangements, avon pitcher, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

My mom brought me a vase full of irises from her garden, cut before the frost. I couldn't resist painting one.

purple iris, watercolor iris, botanical watercolor, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry

I've found that it's so much easier to create when I'm filled up with beauty, when I'm focused on noticing and savoring daily graces. Getting out in nature or the garden nurtures creativity. It's true even if you're not an artist. Ideas flow after immersing yourself in beauty. Ideas for meals you want to cook or for ways to cozy up your home. Problems seem to shrink and solutions come more readily.

Sometimes I forget how important it is. But I'm remembering now.

autumn, autumn foliage, trees, leaves, Anne Butera, My Giant Strawberry


I have to say that I agree with Anne Shirley when she says
"I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers."
                               --L.M. Montgomery

What about you? What simple joys and beauties have you been appreciating this month? Do you find inspiration and ideas flow more readily when you're focused on joy?

10 comments:

  1. The month of October is breathtaking here in Vermont...in the first turning of the foliage, to its peak and even in the dropping and fading of the leaves. It is just all so beautiful. It's part of a cycle that's ancient, unstoppable and reassuring, in a way. xo

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    1. Glad you're enjoying October in Vermont (even with the snow!). I do love having seasons, even if there are some I like better than others. The cycle is reassuring; you're right.

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  2. Beautiful painting, beautiful post! I also can't believe how quickly October has passed. It has been mild here and we have only started to put the heating on over the last few days. I really should have got out more during the month but became a bit of a recluse. I definitely feel more inspired when I am out in nature and keep meaning to do it more. I must make more of an effort to enjoy the coming week. Have a lovely weekend Anne. :-)

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    1. Thank you, Simone! It is funny how quickly the month has passed by. Not that it's over yet. Still some time to enjoy.

      We all have cycles ourselves, too. Sometimes we feel like getting out more and sometimes we feel more in-ward focused. It's natural and it's good. Listening to ourselves and what we need is important.

      I hope you do enjoy the week!

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  3. Such a beautiful post, Anne. I absolutely love the photo of your dogs in the leaves, as well as all the others. And your iris painting is very beautiful. Looks like you are "savoring October"!!

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    1. Thank you, Judy! You're right. I have been savoring the month. In truth, I try to savor every month. There's always something to savor if you're looking!

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  4. What a lovely October you have had. Your dogs are just so sweet. Looks like they were working hard. :) I feel so much better when I'm out in nature. I've been walking a lot this month and it feels so good. Yesterday as I was driving to a drs. appointment and had the negative voices playing I decided to stop it, notice the beautiful colors and mountains around me and name 5 things I'm grateful for and a thank you to follow. I felt much better. I love October and I'm glad we live in a world with them as well.

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    1. Thank you, Dana.

      That sounds like a wonderful practice. I will need to try it next time the negative voices are drowning everything else out.

      Enjoy the rest of the month!

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  5. Hello Anne,
    I know it, October has just come and gone like that. It has been one of the most beautiful Octobers I can think of. I love that photo of the dogs. :-)
    I plan to finish cleaning the gardens this weekend and put them to bed.
    I do hope November will surprise us with SUN!
    Carla

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    1. Yes, it's been a lovely month. Some Octobers can be so dreary. Here our colors haven't been as nice as in some years, but it's been sunny and warm and beautiful.

      I agree with you 100% on wishing for a sunny November (and December and January and February...). :)

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