Fall, Change, and Other Fireside Thoughts

Here where I am, we have had the first few days of True Fall. The first snow of the season, so early and such a delightful morning surprise. The first long day of foggy sweater weather. The first day for gloves and the scent of a fire waiting at home. If you have read any of my posts here, it’s probably redundant to say fall is my favorite season. The changing leaves and brisk breezes bring out excitement and maybe even ambition in me, as if I, too, need to squirrel away projects instead of acorns.

I know fall isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. It’s easy to think of autumn as an ending, a closing, the last bar of a song. One of the reasons for this is that it’s one of the times in the year when we really notice change. Continue reading

Pie Again

In honor of Pi Day (3/14), I’m writing about pie again.

And (because of the way I am) if I’m writing about pie, that means I’m also writing about words, too. For me, baking and writing are nearly inseparable. They are both things I enjoy doing and experimenting with, and while only one can actually be eaten, both can be consumed. They can both show care for others, bring warmth and comfort, and nourish the spirit.

In my opinion, both are absolute necessities. Continue reading

The Element of Reprise

Here near the end of June, I really must admit that it’s summer.

In my mind, I was pushing back those calendar days as if I could hold it off until I felt like everything was ready and feeling 100% like summer.

You see, the return of summer comes with the anticipation of kids curling into a poolside cannonball, fans queuing outside movie theaters in flip-flops and tank tops, and novice gardeners like me staring at the ground for tiny green leaves. It’s the first time down the water slide, the tipping of a dripping glass festooned with a slice of lemon. It’s blazing blue skies and back porch sunsets. It’s the satisfactory thud of the classroom door behind you, even if you haven’t been in school for years. Continue reading

Atramentous

I need a title.

A new project I’m working on has outgrown its old one, and now I’m left with the task of naming it again. It’s because of this and other bits of life that have got me thinking even more about the impact of words. So here I am, trying to decide which words will set the stage, which ones have the right shades of orange and twilight lavender splashed with stars.

Like many people who love language—the sounds and shapes of it— I keep a list of words I like. Some of them are on the list for their meaning, and others are on the list because of their timbre. Often, it’s a mix of the two. Words are complicated, infinitely loaded with perception, context, and even your own experiences. Continue reading

Hello to the New Year

Clock hands edge around the face of our every day, pushing our mornings into afternoons and then into nights. But once a year, we pay special attention to the small things, things like smiles and the seconds that take us right up to the brink of midnight and tip us over into the new year.

The stroke of midnight might go by unnoticed on other nights, but December 31 is special. Of all the 31,536,000 seconds in the year, the last ten are sparks skittering away like golden snowflakes into the cold night. Of the 525,600 minutes in a year, the last one ends with a giant flash of brilliant glitter. After all, everything new should be celebrated with fireworks. Continue reading

This Season

It’s been a while.

A most understated phrase, and it’s one that I’m sorry to say. People talk about seasons of life often, and as a novice gardener, I’m tempted to think of those seasons as bunches of months, clusters of days defined by the weather and a solar path around the sun. However, as I’m learning, these seasons sprawl outside calendar lines. They aren’t thawed by spring or go on vacation in summer. They aren’t put to bed in autumn or buried in winter.

This has been a difficult season for me, one that’s been going on for a long time, and this past month with my grandma passing away was intensely hard. It’s been a time of equally hard prayer and closeness with family— much needed rain for scorched ground. Some days when the sun sets, I feel I’m closing the door on another day of broken trowels and withered plants, torn leaves and snapped stems. Continue reading