Yesterday was the first day of autumn, whose presence is quietly, but steadily, making itself known. Apples and pears are ripening, falling unexpectedly to the ground with satisfying thumps. Trees are looking a little more bare, and here and there leaves are rich reds or golden yellow. There is a distinct chill in the air that wasn't present only a few weeks ago, and when I began my new job in August, I witnessed the sun rise every morning; now, the world slumbers just a little bit longer.
As I get older, the world spins a bit faster and I can be more fully present in the seasons, appreciating each more deeply, knowing that the next will come soon enough. The transition is always surprisingly subtle, and it is only with open eyes that one can see – or feel – the fading of one season and the approach of another.
Work has been all-consuming and challenging and in the most wonderful moments, a joy. I am still adjusting to the unusual hours (3-6 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the evening) and very much hope that, with the right amount of nightly sleep, midday naps, and caffeine in the late morning, I will be able to once again regularly do the things I love to do.
The two images above are from things I have shared with the children. The first is a simple project; all you need is water-soluble markers and water. Cover the page with big blocks of color, then paint with water and watch the colors swirl. Be sure to put something underneath the paper as the markers bleed heavily.
The second is a collaborative drawing I did with two kindergarteners. One drew the bird and the other helped me color with crayons, and so together we created a whimsical portrait reminiscent of Mica Angela Hendricks and her daughter's artwork. I plan to add these pieces – and other doodles, sketches, and projects I have done at work – to my art journal and/or Sketchbook Project notebook.
And speaking of which..
I was so anxious about starting to fill the pages of the designated book that I decided the best way to get started was to deconstruct! I used a staple remover to take out all the bound pages, and doing so was such a relief. Fear of the blank page can be so paralyzing. (Incidentally, I never finished or sent in that year's Sketchbook.)
I have been playing with loose watercolor paper (see last image) and at the moment plan to cut the new pages to size and re-bind the book. Of course, these ideas may change with time. But I will send in my book this year – that much I can promise!
I miss you, sweet readers. Let's catch up. How has life been treating you of late?
September: a month of change, of autumn's arrival, of lengthening nights and fading green and cooler days. Summer has quietly begun to slip away, and the plants mourn her as they bear their last fruits and a leaf here and there turns brown and crispy. The corn has been harvested, the wild raspberries are long gone, and only a few brave flowers still linger in the garden. The sun rises later and later, and I awake in darkness as I get ready for work in the mornings.
Yes, autumn is on her way.
This summer has been a magnificent one, and I have enjoyed it fully. I have appreciated every blossom, every bumbling bee and floating butterfly, each ripening of fruit, and the symphony of cicadas, birds, and crickets that has serenaded me for months. I treasured the arrival of the fireflies and soaked up their magic for the short time they danced and blinked across the earth.
Each sweet summer night and sweltering day, each kissing sunbeam, each barefoot step – I have loved them all. Knowing this, that I have celebrated and loved and been thankful and present for each and every day, I can open my arms wide and without reservation welcome the next change and the next season. Spring will come again soon enough.