The leaf regatta (9)

(Last night’s pink and red sunset.)

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon
in autumn,
A cool breeze in summer, snow in winter —
If your mind is not clouded by unnecessary
things,
this is the best season of your life.

~ Chinese poem

After a night filled with strange dreams I woke up this morning feeling out of sorts.  When I went out for my walk I was a little sad, a little contemplative, a little reflective.

(Great blue heron and reflections from early this morning.)

There is an event coming up soon that I am dreading.  “Dreading” might be too strong, but I’m not looking forward to it.  It will be an emotional event.  But like most fears or dreads, it probably won’t be nearly as bad as the anticipation and before-hand worries of it.

(Clouds and tree on the western horizon.)

It’s hard to stay sad on a day like today.  It’s one of those gusty, exhilarating fall days that crackles with energy.  A variety of clouds have been moving in and out, the sun occasionally peeking out from between them.

(This morning’s view of the pond.)

Yesterday afternoon the pond was covered with a layer of gold, yellow, and brown from the leaves that have been flying off the trees.  Today the wind is blowing the leaves all over the pond.  They look like a flotilla of tiny boats winding their way around the water wherever the wind happens to take them.

It’s fascinating to watch.  You might think the wind would be taking all of the leaves in one direction but that’s not so.  Some were moving to the front of the pond, some to one side, and some to the other side.  I watched one leaf weave in and out and around several other leaves like a little speed boat showing off.

(Leaving a wake.)

A few even left wakes behind them, they were moving so fast.

Others gently drifted in and out of the reflections, moving past blue sky and white clouds and still-green trees.

I don’t know how long I stood by the pond watching the leaves.  At least a good half hour or so.  As I was taking the last few shots I noticed something different, something that had changed in the time I had spent out there.  I was smiling and no longer thinking about what’s ahead.  I was in the moment, enjoying the leaf regatta.  I had forgotten all about the dreads and worries.

(Ripples and colorful reflections.)

And now I’m just enjoying the day with the reminder that right now, in this moment, everything is okay.

If we simply feel the miracle of being present, a kind of appreciation grows along with a kind of joy.  Attending to the small things in front of us becomes a way of self-renewal and self-refreshment.

~ Sharon Salzberg

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11 Comments on “The leaf regatta (9)”

  1. Anna Surface says:

    I just love the Great blue heron and reflections, and the leaf on the pond photos… especially the first one. Reminds me of a Buddhist (or perhaps Zen) story of rowing across the pond meeting challenges… and I am just remembering the flavor of the story not the details. Your pond photos and what you wrote niggled this. May everything turn out much better than you anticipate, Robin. This 365 challenge is teaching me…. endurance, for one thing… but something else in which I cannot yet put my finger on. But I can say, I am in a better frame of mind and spirit after being out and about in which is something you touched upon in your writing: “I was smiling and no longer thinking about what’s ahead. I was in the moment, enjoying the leaf regatta. I had forgotten all about the dreads and worries.” My goodness, I’m rambling here… 🙂

    • Robin says:

      Anna: Ramble all you want. I don’t mind. 🙂

      Being outdoors every day has helped my mood and frame of mind, too. It’s good to get out and explore. Each exploration seems to bring some little gift for the spirit. 🙂

  2. I really like the shot of the small lake with the boat in the foreground! I think it’s the contrast of the red life vests! Great shot!

  3. Karma says:

    I love the leaf with the wake! I can picture it speeding along in the wind.

  4. Kel says:

    Robin I love this – the leaf regatta!
    glad it was also able to transport you back to the here and now 🙂

  5. Kala says:

    I was just commenting to a friend that I wished I lived where you do.

    • Robin says:

      It’s a nice place to live, Kala, but I don’t think many people wish to live in northeast Ohio (especially when winter comes in and buries us in snow!).

  6. […] capture any like that on Wednesday, but there’s an example of one on an old post of mine (The leaf regatta).  Those were shot in auto mode (probably the Sports mode) because I hadn’t yet learned to […]


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