When he was small, my youngest son had a habit of filling his pockets with treasures he encountered in his daily adventures. I didn't always understand the value he saw in his chosen objects -- really, how many rocks and sticks could one boy keep? In his eyes, though, each one was beautiful and important. Life is just like that on a larger scale, isn't it? We gather up the precious bits of our experiences and save them all to learn from and enjoy later. Perhaps you'll find a little something here that you'd like to keep in your own pockets. Thanks for visiting.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Lessons in colour

I happened to glance at a calendar this week and was hit with the sudden and unbelievable realization that it is almost October already.  September seems to have disappeared in the blink of an eye. As fallen leaves have been swirling madly all around me on the sidewalk, propelled by gusts of wind that blow with determination this time of year, my mind, too has been spinning in a whirlwind of activity in recent weeks, making me hardly aware of the passage of time.  Everything is busy: family and home life, school and extra-curricular activities, and my own creative projects, the ideas for which seem to be coming to me fast and furiously these days.  The constant movement creates a humming that becomes very difficult to ignore. Even the nights have no longer been restful; in the dark hours I close my eyes, but behind them I am mulling over thoughts and solving problems in the form of crazy dreams while tossing and turning for hours on end. I love the energy and motivation that comes from all of this thinking and organizing and figuring out; sometimes it's a catalyst for making wonderful things happen in life and the source of deep satisfaction.  But I don't love when I start to feel as though my head might just explode....

I think many people find the early fall an especially busy time.  We start running the day after Labour Day and the wheel we're on just seems to keep spinning faster and faster as the weeks go by and we always find more that needs to be done.  How quickly we forget what summer taught us about how good it feels to just relax sometimes.  But fall has her own lessons, if we care to listen to them; her trees are filled with leaves of breathtaking colour that call to our hearts to stop and notice, even when our minds want to tell us to keep our heads down and plow ahead.  

Today I listened to the leaves.  When a sunny Saturday morning lay before me with no scheduled activities, I chose not to fill it with items I could check off my to-do list; instead I gathered up my three guys and we headed to a favourite local trail that meanders through some woods by the river.  After the first ten minutes or so (during which Will, who was not sure he liked my plan, complained about being tired and itchy and unimpressed), everyone grew quiet.  We spent an hour and a half on that trail, soaking up the morning sun and the glorious reds and oranges and yellows that glowed happily from the trees.  We noticed birds of all kinds, sniffed cheerful yellow snapdragons, and watched dozens of large, fuzzy brown and black caterpillars inch across our path.  (We also learned, when Will let one of these caterpillars crawl across his finger, that they bite!)  Our lungs filled with fresh air, and the beautiful landscape filled our hearts with peace and joy. 


I wonder why we so often forget how simple it is to find this quiet happiness, even in the middle of our busiest seasons.  I'm grateful for the beautiful leaves and their reminder that in nurturing the parts of ourselves that crave calm and meaningful reflection, we reveal our own most vibrant and lovely colours.

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