New Perspectives…

The summer is coming to an end. The days are shorter and the nights are growing longer…

This past Sunday afternoon, my bookend-sister wanted to show me the walk along the other side of the river — and we were pleasantly surprised to see how far Autumn had advanced over there. The river’s cliff-side near my childhood home I know like the smile of a close friend – but it’s really not the most common one to visit – the other side that brushes up against the town of Estacada itself is the one most people know. There are benches and picnic tables to accommodate visitors, and there’s even a beautiful dock to aid in the enjoyment of the river. It’s the side that many of the kids I grew up with are likely to think of when they think about hike-walking along the river during their youth.
It’s a little funny to admit that I’ve spent so much of my life here, but I’ve never actually explored  that side before…  I was surprised at how it gave me an entirely different view of the river that I know so well.   The air was still heavy with the scent of the river and warm earth, but also carried the evidence of town – like the aroma of someone having an end-of-summer Sunday Barbecue, and the hum of the nearby highway. The river itself seemed so different from that side that it almost felt foreign…

Dock in Estacada on the Clackamas River

It’s funny how so much of the view of Life’s path depends on the perspective you have as you are walking it. Every once in awhile – after climbing a particularly steep leg of the journey – sometimes you can turn around and get a different view of where you’ve been…  it can be eye-opening to see things from a new viewpoint.

The Clackamas River from the North side

Lately, I have found myself at one of these points — only it has re-viewed a huge portion of this life I’ve been living, and so much of it appears very different from this new perspective than it was while I was walking through it.  So much of our Reality is shaped by our perspectives  — I’ve found mine has suddenly been turned inside-out and upside-down.  It’s like I’m suddenly living in a new world, but even in this world much remains the same — tomorrow keeps coming. I just desperately need to get my bearings…

Be gentle new world – I’m weary from this journey…

It’s all Grace.

Twilight and Evening Song…

Twilit sky and evening cricket chorus…

Darkness is falling earlier and earlier in my corner of the globe.

My sister and I are now consistently sharing our evening walks with the songs of the crickets and the erratic flight of bats. Tonight, the evening breeze was gentle…. playing with our clothes and brushing our cheeks — it still carries the scent of summer’s-end blended with the river — even as it’s now bearing the first falling leaves, brown and crisp… Autumn is arriving soon, and already the trees are preparing to prepare for the coming winter. 

There is something healing in these evening walks — and yet, they are just natural occurrences — just two “bookend” sisters , the oldest and the youngest 13-years apart — walking a road they’ve know their entire lives. We visit a neighbor’s goats — feeding them if we have anything to share, even if that means laughing like schoolgirls as we try to reach apples on a nearby tree, or picking the giant blackberries in the bushes along the road. I am in my 40s but might as well be in my early teens on these evenings. :) The goats think we are there just to bring them treats, and object loudly if we happen to pass by with empty arms…
We point out rabbits and  instinctively duck if the bats swoop too close…The chorus of crickets waxes and wanes as we walk along, passing one group and moving on to the next — the river a constant presence just behind their tall-grass homes under the stand of old trees that border its cliffside-banks. The air is heavy with the fragrance of home…

My childhood and youth are everywhere here. After what seems like decades of chaos — my soul feels like it is standing on solid ground… I remember myself — my voice, my heart — pieces of me that only made their presence known when working in hospice, or stolen moments with written words in this little corner. Words here can bring ridicule from others, but they carry my voice in all its fullness… they are a window into who I am and where I’ve been. Perhaps they will weave for me their own healing spell to remind me of my soul-self after all this…

And perhaps these evening twilit walks are my peace-potion.


#twiliteveningsongwalks
#comingautumn
#peacewalk

Of Transformation and Harvest…

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What is it about red and gold leaves that thrill me so much every autumn? For as long as I can remember I’ve felt a brief bolt of joy every time I see a tree has changed its colors. It’s like magic — the best kind — the everyday, ordinary kind that is so easily taken for granted but so literally transforming…

I returned the laptop I had borrowed from The Tech Academy  today – or rather, I had it packaged up and sent to them – and it was just wonderful to be out and about on an October day… my cable knit sweater keeping me snuggly warm, my favorite green corduroy skirt belted around my waist (okay, it’s too big for me, I don’t care). We had stormy weather off and on all afternoon… thunder would roll and the rain would pour, then it would blow over and the autumn sun would stream through the clouds as if the storm had never happened. So much like the storms of Life we all encounter — always so unexpectedly.

When I pulled back into my driveway and stepped out of the car, I just happened to glance across the street as the sunlight broke through a cloud and spilled onto a golden tree in front of my neighbor’s house. The breeze picked up just at that moment dancing with the tree-leaves and making them sparkle in the golden light. I love that.  Standing there, I let the seconds wash over me and the thrill of that shimmering dance settle deep into my soul… the transforming magic of Autumn is here.

The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few…”

Even though I didn’t grow up on a farm I did grow up in a very rural area, and for me, this season naturally equates to harvest time. Now, as a woman (technically getting close to “middle-age” now I suppose) I find myself wondering, “What grew in my life this year? Am I able to harvest anything worthwhile from the areas of my soul that have grown?” When I was a girl, every Fall brought the beginning of a new school year, and just as the world around me was transforming into the last bright colors of the year before the sleep of winter, I would suddenly become a 3rd grader instead of a 2nd grader, or a 5th grader instead of a 4th grader — every year when the summer months ended transformations would begin all around me as the fruit of another year of growth was ready for harvest in our lives. It was like magic – but again, the best kind – the everyday, ordinary kind that is so easily taken for granted but so literally transforming…

Each year this season comes upon us as we spin around our sun on this blue-marbled globe, and it gives us a unique opportunity to assess the fruits we have yielded this time around  — to remember that the great sleep of winter is on its way…  And Thanksgiving will be upon us in a matter of weeks, reminding us to be grateful for all the little blessings the year has brought… all the unexpected sources of Grace in the struggles of our lives. We’re all harvesting what has been grown in the garden of our souls this year — we’re all experiencing our own transformation in little everyday, ordinary ways — becoming more and more who we are meant to be.

There’s so much to be grateful for…

  1. shimmering dances of leaf and wind…
  2. rolling thunder…
  3. cozy cable knitted sweaters…
  4. The Professor practicing piano…
  5. Listening to the Philosopher as he writes… (thinking out loud, typing, talking to himself) :)
  6. Alexa playing Bing Crosby’s Holiday Pandora station…
  7. library books…
  8. mischevious little nephews in time-out… :)
  9. knitting, frogging (taking out stitches), and re-knitting…
  10. surprise sandwiches from my hubby from the gluten-free bakery down the street…

It’s all Grace…