There’s a distinct nip in the air this morning and condensation is blurring the view from the windows here. Everyone I’ve seen has been bright and cheerful – the (very real) concerns of C-19 life in the UK giving way to blue skies, crisp air, freshness and – well – whatever it is that makes us leap up and out and about with enthusiasm on a day like today.
William Stafford reflected in an autumn-sort-of-a-way in his ‘Vocation‘ (link)
Now both of my parents, the long line through the plain,
the meadowlarks, the sky, the world’s whole dream
remain, and I hear him say while I stand between the two,
helpless, both of them part of me:
“Your job is to find what the world is trying to be.”
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage trees …
Autumn mornings like this one have me up from bed and off downstairs, barefoot, to stand for a few moments on the bejewelled grass – and be thankful …
I’m fond of Border Terriers – chiefly because their faces are so expressive. I came across two of them with their human earlier. Each little face – without words – was quite clearly saying: ‘let’s go on adventures.’ And it occurred to me that their freedom of spirit is precisely why they always look so cheerful, and up for whatever’s coming their way. So look out. When we meet I’ll want to chat about what adventures we’ve got lined up!
Funny how little things spark memories and inner warmth. I couldn’t help noticing the very brightly painted, multicoloured fingernails of a lady on our village green today. I was instantly taken back to February this year, in Castries, St Lucia, where I spotted this fabulous little place. El Shaddai is translated in English as ‘God Almighty.’ Who knew that the Divine has their own hair and nail salon? This serves as a prompt to post some more photos of one of the most colourful and friendly places I’ve seen.
Chatting with a friend over lunch today touched upon the beauty of ‘Austen-esque’ language. Full of words and modes of speech that have become rather old-fashioned to contemporary ears, Jane Austen’s classics are no less loved by me for that.
One such word, at least one that I don’t often hear, is ‘enthralled’ – which really quite describes me! On the one hand I’ve begun to believe myself a bit forgetful, and on the other I’m enjoying a kind of renaissance-return to the beguiled delights of curious childhood, before ‘education’ and ‘what you need to do now’ interrupted my reverie.
Today I find myself glad again to have time to take time – and observe that there’s a great deal to have one’s attention held by – often tiny things. Pasja1000 created this marvellous photograph of a single lawn daisy and I am, Miss Bennet, ‘enthralled’ by all that I see (and hear?) in it.
If you were able to find what your precious heart most loves and reaches out to; your boundless soul most aspires to and takes delight in; your extra-ordinary mind most often returns to and celebrates; and your beautiful body most yearns for – glowing with health and joy and connected profoundly: where (and maybe with whom – known or imagined) would you be?
Please indulge me again. I know I keep coming back to this piece. The music is sublime, but I’ve come back to this little video at least once a week for years, I think, because the intense and delightful connection between conductor, musicians and choir leaves me utterly spellbound. Note the conductor’s continued concentration and movement into the silence at the end of the piece – and his delight, throughout, in both the music and the connection. I think this is close to musical perfection … as some of you may have noticed from time to time in the past!
I’ve come to love my garden more and more, by day and by night. Close up photos lend themselves to reflection afterwards, and I’ve been thinking about the miracle of a plant’s breathing in what I breathe out – and converting it to what I need to breathe in again. Schoolboyish, eh? But having the time, in later life, to think a little more deeply about such things is what makes this world magical – beckoning us toward a sense of responsibility.
I wonder how many others share my delight in photographing shop windows – often little works of art in their own right? Just a glimpse, sometimes years later, reminds me exactly of where I was and what I was doing. In this case, having a lovely lazy day in Kirkcudbright, a couple of years ago, with one of my daughters and her young children. There’s often a marvellous array of colour in shop windows. It’s good to stop sometimes, even briefly, to take notice.