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Posts Tagged ‘beauty’

And I’m back! Dreaming bigger again, only this time my focus is on joy. Kind of appropriate since the subtitle of my book is Reclaiming a Life of Joy and Ease!

I’m writing a new blog now at Jules for Joy. It’s my journey toward joy, through creativity, play and beauty. I’m exploring what brings joy into my life, and then sharing it.

I’d love to hear where you find joy. Perhaps we can inspire each other!

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We’ve all read the stories (or seen the movies) that end with the hero and heroine heading off into the sunset. On horses, motorcycles, by foot, carriage … whatever happens to be available.

Last weekend, I had the chance to live such a dream. We spent an entire day on our sailboat, motoring out early to anchor and have a leisurely breakfast. Then setting sails and heading west, as far as the winds would take us. In the afternoon, as the winds dropped, we anchored again and swam, munched, and swam again.

And in the evening, we headed back to port, the sun glistening on the water behind the boat.

Glistening path to the sun

As we moved along, we watched the moon rise over the horizon …

Erie moonrise

as the sun slowly sank in the west,

Going, going …

casting glorious pink, mauve and blue shadows over the lake.

Of such magic, dreams are woven, and fairy tales written.

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I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape …Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show.
  ~Andrew Wyeth

The air was chilly when I stepped out for my walk this morning. It caught at the back of my throat with each breath I took, and sent shivers down my neck. As I climbed the first hill, I began to notice the subtle changes that have taken place since last week – the trees are completely bare now, crumpled piles of leaves lie at the side of the road where they’ve been left for pick-up, bird species are changing as autumn inches toward winter.

There is a stark beauty this time of the year, before the snow arrives. This morning it was as if I was seeing the world for the first time, with eyes of wonder.

Without the cover of leaves, so many details are now noticeable. As I passed one home, I saw for the first time an ornate black iron design of leaves in a circular pattern hanging on the outside of the white brick chimney. It’s buried under a thick covering of green ivy in the summer months.

I could see the intricate outlines of gardens, no longer obscured by ground cover. And meandering stone paths, inviting me across the barren earth. Evergreens are more striking now as all other colour fades from view. Intriguing shapes and angles appear in trees and houses.

Red berries glow on bare gray branches in a small tree filled with cedar waxwings. Velvety black squirrels scurry across frosty lawns and up the bright white bark of birches.

The colours seem crisper, brighter, more apparent than during the lush months of summer and even the vibrant glory of autumn. It’s as if the secret beauty of the world is only revealed once the mesmerizing surface layers are stripped away.

As I walk, I wonder …

If I were to remove the outer trappings of my life (the busyness, the roles, the demands and commitments), what unknown beauty might I discover within? What hidden truths or secret dreams?

Something to ponder in the coming months.

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I love autumn. It’s my favourite season in the year. I enjoy the transition from September through December as the natural world relinquishes its grasp on busy-ness and growth, and surrenders to the stillness of winter slumber.

As I write, the trees are nearly bare and I can see the little pond behind my building once again. All summer I could hear ducks and geese paddling about, but they were invisible, hidden behind the heavy cover of leaves.

By late September, those leaves had begun to change colour, subtly at first, a hint of yellow amid the dark green, followed by a tinge of orange and then the vibrant hues of amber, crimson and gold that take my breath away. The warm days and cool nights of early October brought daily changes. On my morning walks I’d see kaleidoscopes of colour swirling in the wind as leaves danced, caught in mini- tornadoes at my feet.

Wild storms in mid-October sent black clouds scudding across the sky providing a magnificent backdrop for the vibrant maple trees framing the edges of farmers’ fields. Bright orange pumpkins dotted the landscape along side the chestnut earth of freshly plowed fields and the golden rolls of hay bales.

Heavy rains have knocked many of the remaining leaves to the ground in the past week. A few determined ones still cling valiantly to the trees, mostly yellow, green and brown now. Soon the world outside my window will be shades of grey, brown and black, a stark contrast to the radiance of the past month, yet still beautiful in its own way.

I guess that’s what makes this season (and life itself) so rich for me. Every day brings change, something new to notice, another type of beauty to recognize and appreciate.

And savour, because it will be different again tomorrow.

 

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