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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Celebrate Fall with a Closer Look

It's true. Some things are just too good to last, like this week's warm weather here in Tacoma. But that reminds us to savor every day and every little thing in it, especially now when the landscape blazes with color.

Enjoy the magical transition of seasons. With most summer flowers still in bloom, and the maple leaves already turning, on stage come the stars of the autumn garden: glorious purple asters, chrysanthemums in deep red, burnished gold and lavender, and fall-blooming bulbs. The hardy cyclamens, rise up from the drab soil with an elegance of posture, petals swept back, like a troupe of petite ballerinas among the ferns. It's easy to miss them when they're only three inches high.

Get out of the house before the dark days of wind and rain and take a walk, even if it's just around your yard. Notice the subtle changes. Do the squirrels seem busier? The spider spins his web between the porch and perennials. Hydrangeas once so blue, age gracefully into surprising shades of plum, cream, and aqua green. The seeds of the sunflower ripen. Fuchsias still hang heavy with pendulous blooms.

Soon it will all change. Everything does. Then you'll look back and remember. The kids that I sent off to school on September mornings, that seem not so long ago, are grown men. I still get excited about blank paper, and sharpened pencils, but these days I sit at a laptop. Where I used to daydream, now I write as fast, as much, and as well as I can. My life, like the year, is already into its second half. I think of the time I've wasted on meaningless things, and say to myself, "Let all my days be full of meaning."

So I'm enjoying this fall and hope to enjoy many, many more. I hope you do too. Remember to slow down, breathe deep, and delight in details. If you don't you'll miss the tiny cyclamens dancing among the ferns, and that would be a shame.

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