Today is the first day of autumn and my thoughts are settled around appreciating the richness of this season.
On our way out to preschool, I clipped a bundle of dried brown Echinacea flowers, their once-pink petals now straggly brown and picked away, their bristly cones now the star of the show. I've brought a bunch of them indoors to rest on what's becoming a Nature/Offering table, all of those brittle stems embraced in a vintage glass container which has become a vase in its second life. For balance, a thick bundle of purple sage I'd cut yesterday sits on that table as well, the green stems plunged into a small cobalt blue creamer. (If you want a nice, full bushy-looking arrangement, gather your herbs up tight together and put a rubber band around the bottom. This will keep them from getting floppy and messy. Use an opaque vase so no one sees the rubber band or rangy-looking stems.)
I've also cut some larger bundles of native golden currant for our home and the preschool. In spring, this green-leafed plant's dainty yellow-gold flowers with red centers delighted us with their spicy scent. Now autumn, the leaves have turned a glorious red with just a hint of pink in it, some leaves still have a bit of green. The red captures my heart; this is the color I want to paint the nook where we eat our meals, separated by the archway from the main part of the kitchen. I love this red, and a Mason jar of the currant clippings sits on the woodstove which we've yet to use this season. The blaze of color is delightful. (Note to self, get that big Miller paint 'deck' of paint chips out and match it up!)
Today the garden offers up more tomatoes and fall gold raspberries to pick and more work to be done, so in a minute I'll be putting on my gardening pants and taking the tools out to the soil. But a few more thoughts of richness:
Joe and I celebrated an anniversary last night. Ten years together as a couple. We ate great Italian food (I had cioppino, in case you were wondering.) and stopped at our local for a beer and good conversation. The time to talk to each other without any interruptions was such a treat-- Thank you, Lissa, for that gift. Things have been going so well for Joe; he's started a new, challenging job last year and on Monday he received a title promotion and raise, which seems like perfect timing since preschool has started. Last night, he suggested that we up Kiddo's preschool week to four days instead of the three. I know he was thinking of me.
Kiddo, however, is reveling in having a couple of 'down' days during the week where he can just enjoy himself and play how he likes. His play is becoming ever-more complex, and this is part of my picture of abundance too. Yesterday, he'd used our two ramps and some blocks to build a marble chute (the blocks were a guardrail, to keep the marbles from falling off the ramp) which led into a bag where the marbles were collected. He asked about finding something to drop the marbles into the chute, so we got out our marble run and stacked up supports until we could build a run tall enough to deliver the marble into the chute. Then, the plastic marble run became a support for a drum set, his "electric guitar" (which is a toy acoustic guitar with the large round metal lid from his Tinkertoys over the sound hole, an old kid's watch and a plastic scoop somehow hanging from the strings as well) and several containers plus the keyboard became his 'music band'. This is why I want to keep him home as much as reasonably possible, because he is able to create and play in a way that meets some unspeakable need within himself. I love how his play flows along so organically, taking its own twists and turns, constantly creative, learning what both I and preschool cannot teach; what he can only teach himself.
Gratitude and abundance is what I feel today. Grateful for the good life our family is experiencing, the richness of our world and what's around us. I write of these moments because I want to remember them later on, when winter creeps upon us with the gray skies and rain rain rain and the earth rests as all living things must rest. That's the promise of the seasons, that we keep moving forward, that nothing is permanent, and so we do best to appreciate the present, as it is, in this moment. To be present with our eyes and hearts open to the beauty around us.