Sunshine on a cloudy day

Lake effect clouds streaming in

Lake effect clouds streaming in

Yesterday afternoon brought a beautiful mix of clouds, sunshine, and lake effect snow.  I was so busy posting leftovers that I didn’t get around to looking at the photos from my walk.  That has turned out to be a good thing because I don’t have time to upload and sort through the photos from today’s walk.

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A monarch in the meadow

Landing

The bud
stands for all things
even for those things that don’t flower,
for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on the brow
of the flower,
and retell it in words and in touch,
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing.

~ Galway Kinnell

I’ve posted this poem sometime in the past (it seems like long ago), and it came to mind this morning as I was pondering “what next?”

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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