Tag Archives: Trees

Winter Survival Guide (3) ~ Walk While there is Light.

At this time of the year, the days are growing shorter and darkness sets in a lot earlier. It can be oh so tempting to spend most of our days inside, however, our bodies still need whatever sunlight we can get and while the days are still light, and reasonably temperate, my encouragement is to make the most of that by stepping outside whenever we can. It’s early November, and here although we have rainy and windy days, they are also interspersed with days like today where it is calm, still, and reasonably bright, albeit a little cold.

The ‘Brits’ are probably well known for talking about the weather a lot, but it’s probably because  things are so changeable over here. We can’t be guaranteed sun in the summer, and when it comes, we all get very excited about it. In Scotland, like Vivaldi’s ‘Four Seasons’, these can often occur in one day!

At the moment, we are blessed with some crisp, cold, sometimes even bright autumnal days. I need to remind myself to make the most of these, to not spend an entire Saturday indoors, but to go for a walk while I still can, to wander down to the park and to enjoy the wildlife. It is beautiful, and so good for us to take in a bit of nature and breathe in some fresh air. Bearing in mind the winter seasons here often bring with them wilder weather, lashing rain and wind, and even snow, I really ought to enjoy as much ‘outside time’, even if that means a simple short walk, while I can.

It is good not only for the body, but also for those of us who have to work at our mental health, whether that may be depression, anxiety or some other condition, it is good also for the mind. So let’s make the most of the brighter and more temperate days while we can….for we know that they are very likely set to change very soon!

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Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

Beautiful Autumn

Autumn is one of my favourite times of the year. At least it is when the days are crisp, cool, and there is a hint of sunshine. I’m not so keen on those rainy, wind-swept blustery days, so it has been a blessing to wake up to the gift of some really special, sun-kissed autumnal mornings.

I live in a city, but you don’t have to wander too far before coming upon a park or green space that takes you away from the hustle and bustle of city life. It’s one of my favourite things about living where I do.

So, I’d like to share with you some of the tender moments of autumn that I captured during a stroll in the park last Saturday. I had a belated birthday lunch with a couple of good friends, which is one of the nice things about living in the city, so many options and opportunities to connect with people, and to enjoy some tasty cuisine – the variety seems endless! Afterwards I decided to walk home through the park, and I often find these walks some of the sweetest moments in my ‘ordinary’ life. I am so grateful to live in the hub of a city, but still to have nature around me in some way or another. The pace slows, people stroll rather than rush, and there is time – time to linger, to notice, to chat, or to contemplate life in solitude. There is time to watch the world go by, to observe individuals, joggers, photographers, students, older couples, young families, toddlers finding joy in the simple things like jumping up and down a pile of crisp golden leaves, or watching squirrels scampering to burry food for the winter. The squirrels were probably the most rushed creatures in the park, everyone else had more of a sense of ease about them, which if you are a city dweller you know that that isn’t generally the norm.

I hope you enjoy ‘pausing’ with me for a moment, to enjoy the beauty of these autumnal gifts. What is autumn / fall like where you are? Is there anything in particular that you love most about this season? Happy wandering, friends. x

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Reflections of Autumn

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There’s a sensation in the air that the approach of autumn may not be so far away. Sometimes our heart can sense the changing of the seasons before we apprehend with our senses that any change has yet come. My heart tells me that autumn is a time for lingering, for slowing down, but not yet stopping, for taking the time to live, to be, and to reflect. I find autumn to be a beautiful time of the year (when it is not raining, that is). I sometimes feel that the natural world can have a deep impact upon our inner lives, and the pace of change within ourselves. As I look out of my window and type, the fir trees still stand steady, inked with a deep rich forest green. Other smaller, leafier trees, whose names I don’t know but wish I did, have begun the resplendent transformation as bright yellow gold leaves intermingle with the fading greens. A change is in the air. You can feel it. Not yet winter, but no longer spring or summer, it is time to ‘stock up’ for the colder days ahead, and time also to ‘take stock’ of the days we have lived.

Autumn is a gift. It is a gift that life gives us to slow down and apprehend that life is happening, right now, and it is our duty to pursue wisdom and to live life well. For, as we see life happening, rich, fascinating, unfurling from green to gold to auburn and brown, we are reminded not only that we are alive, but that life also changes, it also fades and this season’s tapestry will in time give way to the next.

In thinking of the seasons of our lives as a tapestry, it helps to remind us that each stitch in time, is part of a far greater picture, and yet is not insignificant – for each little stitch is so important in making the picture, so that things don’t unravel, and so each has its own important place.

It is an important reminder to ourselves, as moving into the latter stages of a year can at times bring feelings of ‘underwhelm’, anxiety, the sense that we have not achieved ‘enough’ or become who we were hoping to be, or done what we wanted, planned or dreamed of doing. Yet Autumn, beautiful and tender Autumn, gives us the permission to slow down, to breathe, to take time over each stitch and to remember that the smallest of details is exceptionally important even in this grand picture, this tapestry of life that is being woven.

You and I may only be a little, tiny piece of a far greater scene – a universe beyond us, time and space that we know nothing about, mysteries that our lives may never apprehend. We someday will be someone else’s ‘history’, we are someone from the past’s ‘future’, and we are here and we are now, each making a stitch in time. We are part of something far greater, and yet we are important – nature reveals this to us – and our Creator through nature speaks volumes. We are both challenged and permitted to take up our own paintbrush as it were, our own pen to write, to create, we are drawn into focusing on the beauty around us, and yes, the fading beauty, but reminded that while we think on these things, we have a part to play, a keystroke to type, a brush to caress a page, a song to sing, a letter to write, a dance to be danced and a life to live. There is beauty in Autumn, and Autumn reminds us that there is beauty with each change, beauty in the smallest of things. So take today as your gift, and be the beautiful part of this grand design that you were born and called to be. x

 

photo of a pathway in a forest
Photo by Artem Saranin on Pexels.com

Daily Photo – # 11

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I took this picture of beautiful cherry blossoms a couple of months ago in a nearby park, just as spring was beginning to make an appearance. There is something so gentle and hopeful about cherry blossoms, and even when they fall they fall like confetti in an innocent celebration. You will find imagery of cherry blossoms woven throughout my blog posts, including in my creative writing. I find cherry blossom trees symbolic of something special to me, as when I was little we had a big cherry blossom tree in our back garden of the first childhood home I have any real memory of. I hope these beautiful sweet flowers bring you joy today. 🙂 x