Welcome Autumn

Apples-AutumnWelcome, oh welcome, my most favorite season: Autumn!

Apples plump on the tree, leaves gild on the branches. The sea crashes on emptier shores, the north wind whistles and carries a chill. Glorious times. Hot cider, pumpkin bread, pears in everything, cinnamon and cardamom and nutmeg wafting through the home. Magic captured: amber afternoon light gleaming, purple shadows lengthening, a hint of piñon log fires somewhere in the distance.

The squirrels and birds dash hither and yon, snatching acorns and berries–hiding some, devouring others. Berries-Autumn

The nights will grow longer, the candles will be lit. There are trails to hike, candy to seek, sticky cakes to grab, honey-hued spirits to warm the heart. Sweaters and jeans and festivals and plans.

Welcome to the harvest, and the waning of the year!

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The Hurly and the Burly

Hello! It’s been a little while since I’ve posted here. Hope you are all enjoying September!

Life has brimmed with activity here. School started, jolting us out of our heat-induced torpor. The novel’s edits were completed, and it’s getting polished up prior to publishing. I’ve made new connections and the kids have made new friends.

Meanwhile, quite suddenly, the heat wave ended. The shadows grew. Golden hour arrives earlier now, meaning my evening walks will soon be retired until Spring. I grow excited and energetic again, despite the early routines of school, appointments, meetings, and all the unexpected things as well.

Normally I feel a sense of joy as September advances toward my favorite season. But this year, I’ve watched many events and catastrophes unfold that clutch at my spirit. Harvey and Irma have snatched away lives and dreams, homes and memories. Wildfires choke the West. Floods ravage other parts of the world. It’s up to all of us to help each other out.

And it’s only too easy to get caught up in the hurly-burly, and forget how precious everything and everyone is.

So this autumn, I want to be sure I do my part and help where and when I can. I also need to set aside time for self care. We all do. Be good to yourselves!

Summer Wanes

Summer-Over.jpg

Late August. The sun hastens its downward slide, and the shadows grow longer. The flower buds stand crisped on dry stalks. Here and there, children wear backpacks.

School begins next week, and the wild hurly-burly of autumn follows soon after.

Summer plans ebbed and flowed this year. We followed our own rhythms rather than highly structured travel, such as we do on even-numbered years. We watched the sky, bounced in the sea, pounded up and down the secret stairs through the woods, barbecued, made S’mores, visited an aquarium, witnessed the sunrise over the Mojave Desert, crafted, and generally took it easy.

And now, the summer holiday draws to a close. As Ralph McCloskey said in his delightful book “Time of Wonder” we feel:

“A little bit sad about the place you are leaving, a little glad about the place you are going.”

Farewell to the bleached hues, the shimmering horizons, the bulbous tomatoes, the fat corn. Farewell summer!

The Beauty and Necessity of Libraries


Recently we visited the Mission Valley Library, one of the several branch libraries in San Diego. We are so lucky to have this library system. And we use it every week, often more than once, sometimes switching branches to try them out.

But the Mission Valley one is striking.
It has these fabulous metal "trees" all throughout.

How gorgeous is that?

And there is a room upstairs that leads to an outside deck for readers!

And while it's not pictured here, outside there is a little artificial stream winding among sycamores. Just a glorious place.

We should all be using our libraries. We need to find new worlds to explore when we need a lift. We need to learn crafts to sustain us. And most importantly, we must revisit the past so that we do not repeat its mistakes.

Shadows walk the world, and libraries are a place of light.

Golden Hour


The light is changing. Can you tell? The sun's reign in the summer sky slides ever so slowly downward.

It leaves us with deepening hues late in the day.
The light of August, feral yet fey, flickers in the hour before sunset.

The metallic high summer bowl of a sky tips over. The slant of the shadows grows. Even the white oleander captures a tawny hue.
The woods grow darker, their canopy grasping for fading light.

The bougainvillea shimmers.

The late summer luster beckons. We remember that evening walks will soon become morning walks. Not much longer now.

Stroll into the golden hour, where dreams hang within reach.