One of my favorite blogs is Shutter Sisters. The other day the post's theme was Words. We were asked to share our favorite words. As the hard frost hit and I scraped ice on my windows, I knew summer was over. I also knew it was time to say good-bye to gardening. I took this flag down for another season. The words remain with me.
Autumn is the eternal corrective. It is ripeness and color and a time of maturity; but it is also breadth, and depth, and distance. What man can stand with autumn on a hilltop and fail to see the span of his world and the meaning of the rolling hills that reach to the far horizon? Hal Borland
This is a series of photo images from my morning walk today in the gardens.
The last week has been hectic. It was busy at school, busy at home, and busy over the week-end. When I get overwhelmed with what to do next, I write. I organize my thoughts. I also take time to breathe in the beauty of my surroundings.
When was the last time you learned something new? How did you remember it? Did you write it down? I am a teacher and I learn new things every day. Oftentimes I learn those things from my students. I have to write things down to keep them in my brain. I tell students the importance of taking notes and commenting on text is to learn. Not only to learn, but to keep it in the brain.
I went to a dynamic workshop last Thursday/Friday. He shared information about brain research and said we might remember 40% of what we learned when we walked out the door... unless we wrote it down. Then it would stick with us longer. I took good notes, then tonight I retaught all that I learned to another person. The notes were the learning. Yes...I remembered most of it. Yes... I wrote and also learned. Above is the hallway leading to my classroom where we write to learn every day.
I write to remember. Sometimes it is just a grocery list, a to-do list, or events on the calendar for the upcoming week.
I wrote to remember how I felt when my first niece was born. I wrote to remember what I learned while doing a Master's degree. I wrote to make people laugh when I emceed an event. I wrote to tell my friend she meant the world to me.
I write to remember how important the act or words to paper or screen needs to be modeled for students. I write in a journal to remember what happened in a teaching day. I write to let parents know what is going on in the classoom.
I also write to remember small moments. When my puppy came home, my older dog died, my mother got cancer, my friend moved away, we traveled to a beautiful campground, or I prepared a beautiful dinner. I remember when we saw swans on our sister trip to Walla Walla. i want to remember these small moments so I write them down.
Why do you write?
This week the National Writing Project is celebrating National Writing Day on October 20th. The theme this year is " Why I Write".
I write to help make sense of my world. I write to bring meaning to the photographs I take obsessively every hour of every day. I write to calm myself down when I am somewhere I don't want to be. I write to remember. I write to organize. I write to account for my life. Again, I write to make sense of my world.
My friends over at Shutter Sisters asked all of us how we find comfort in the little things in life as the days grow shorter. In autumn I love to nest. I love to bring out soft, warm throws for the furniture, spice scented candles for the mantle, and the last flowers from the garden for a bouquet. I love warm socks, fleece vests, and scarfs.
I also love to nest in the kitchen by creating warm, comforting desserts. Today I used up home canned applesauce in applesauce bread. Pears from the orchard went into a pear crisp. I find comfort in filling the freezer up with these autumn goodies so we can pull out a loaf to have with coffee on a cold, October morning.
In our house nesting also involves warmth from fire. You may find us in our main living area with a fire warming us as we enjoy our morning coffee or tea. An outdoor fire is perfect for a sunny, autumn afternoon in the gazebo. Another stove is in our "Annie Room" where we can cozy up with the dogs and cats and read books or take a nap.
I love my job teaching each day, but I also love the pleasure of coming home at the end of the day and nesting. Tomorrow I think I will add some autumn colors around the house to help celebrate my favorite season of the year.
Rituals are another part of autumn I love. I look forward to getting the garden ready for winter, bringing the plants into the greenhouse,
stacking the food shelves for winter, labeling the home canned goods, and freshening up the home docor.
I also love seeing wood stacked up ready to warm the house. These rituals get me organized for the seasons to come and give me a reason to slow down and enjoy the beauty of autumn.
We have an ongoing debate about the best season at our house. As the first spring flowers burst out of the semi-frozen ground we love that season. When the air is full of the scent of lilacs, the sound of birds, and the feeling of warming sun, we love spring.
Then autumn creeps up. The air is cooler in the morning. The clouds form a beautiful morning sky.A fire feels so good in the evening. As the days grow shorter the leaves begin to put on their show. The air is filled with the smell of burning leaves and the last roses of the season.
Hands down my favorite is autumn. My gardening year is slowing down. We can rest longer as we garden and take time to take a drive or sit by the fire. The cats begin to join us in the evening inside. It is heavy sock and sweater season.
Yes, I love autumn.
"As for marigolds, poppies, hollyhocks, and valorous sunflowers, we shall never have a garden without them, both for their own sake, and for the sake of old-fashioned folks, who used to love them." ~ Henry Ward Beecher
I love all the flowers that were planted by my great-grandmothers, grandmothers, great aunts, aunts, mother, sister, and cousins. All of them are lovely, but nothing brightens a day like a sunflower....it is brightened more with a bouquet of sunflowers.