Tuesday, September 29, 2009

AMBLING INTO AUTUMN

I spent several hours yesterday ambling along a path that runs parallel with the river—though seldom within sight of the water, and at times, quite a distance away. You can follow this trail for miles in either direction. Moreover, it links and crosses various bike paths and walkways, forming a network that could, conceivably, take you to every corner of the state…and beyond.
Not that I was nearly that ambitious. I doubt I covered much more than a mile during my three-hour outing. As I say—I ambled. Which means I wandered this way and that, enjoying the sunshine and changing season, looking at wildflowers and weeds, leaves and tress, squirrels, crows, and turkey vultures soaring effortlessly in a blue sky across which herds of puffy white clouds raced before a stiff, almost cold wind.
I wasn't looking for exercise, but renewal. After several weeks of floundering about, not quite depressed, but certainly burning low and finding it harder every day to drag myself up and out, I needed to regroup, to obtain both solace and spark.…
Autumn is taking over—that's for sure. Yet hereabouts, you still have to search for much in the way of leaf color. An occasional maple might have a branch or two with reddish-orange leaves. The woodbine is starting to turn scarlet. Now and then a squarish yellow poplar leaf lay beside the trail, or a big sycamore leaf—though most of these were still green with only a tracing of brown in their ribbing.
The brightest hues were still found in the wildflowers—asters and goldenrod, ironweed, daisies, thistle. Fading, perhaps, but nevertheless quite lovely.
Life and beauty are all transitory. To everything there is a season. The month is drawing to a close. Another autumn is taking center stage. The earth spins and follows its eternal pathway around the sun.
Some think of autumn as a time of bittersweet. They see a sadness beyond the beauty—a vision of winter and darkness to come. But I've never minded winter, never feared the cold and waning light. Because I believe in spring.
Yesterday I ambled along a quiet trail—wandering, wondering, looking for something to pull me up and carrying me through, to find a sorely-needed bit of magic…immersed amid the mystery and wonder of it all.

28 comments:

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Did you find it?

(lovely post)
I'd love to walk with you.
I'm an ambler too.

Richard said...

Great series. I can sure relate to needed that renewal you talk about. It just feels I'm dragging myself from day to day. I need to get out more.

Gail said...

HI GRIZZ-

Oh my the pictures are so lovely. And I love that you ambled and explored, searched with open mind for new wisdom and meanings. I too so love the promise of Winter - gray sky and cold shadows - barren trees standing brave and tall defying the odds only to be lush and full in Spring. :-) The burnt orange and ruby reds, golden yellows and saddle browns, leaves are swirling and the pond out front is ridding itself of it's green moss cover to be refreshed as the brook begins to babble and feed it and it's wild life clean water and food. The shadows are dancing wildly, excitedly like exotic dancers - and the morning chill and steamy dew is breath taking.
I loved walking with you - I saw what you saw - wondered what you wondered - was aroused and alert yet calm and trusting - kind of like Autumn itself in human form.

Love to you
amble on.....
Gail
pece......

Bonnie, Original Art Studio said...

Grizz: Your photographs are pure representations of Autumn - and perhaps, of your mood - in transition - neither here nor there. Middles are always hard places to be: between seasons, between lovers, between jobs, between homes, between opposing demands -- middle age, middle management . . .

Did you find anything close to what you were looking for, while on your amble? If not, it will come. We are all adjusting to the diminishing light right now - and perhaps wondering if it is the light within that is wavering.

This too shall pass - and until it does we try and reap the learnings available to us - and we turn to nature, photography and recording some of it on our blogs.

Take care friend.

Jenn Jilks said...

We have leapt into Autumn with both feet!

I love the season!
Love your photos!

Debbie said...

Good morning!Beautiful descriptive writing and pictures. I was a little saddened this morning by the fact that I couldn't throw my windows open as usual. In fact, we turned the heat on for the first time last night. I,like you, love to contemplate God's creation, which is wonderful in itself. But when you look beyond that beauty to the wonderfulness of the Creator and His personal care for each of us, that is where the true joy lies. Knowing that He knows you and cares for the individual you-that is truly amazing. We think at times that isn't true. But all this was made for our enjoyment-by His hands for us.We see Him in the diversity of nature. His laws of nature are indisputable.I can't look at these things without thanking Him. Thank you for showing me what He's doing over at your place!
Debbie

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Lynne…

I'm not sure—maybe.

Amblers are as much about journey as destination; we opt for extracting something of value from the entire trip, rather than counting on fulfillment only at the end.

Who knows, maybe one of these days we can trade walks at Riverdaze and Hasty Brook.…

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Richard…

You apparently have my symptoms. I hope I'm not contagious. I'm dragging, too—though not so much physically tired as emotionally weary. I'm going to try and spend a lot more time outdoors—not just working on the house or puttering around the yard, but really OUT.

I'll let you know if it works.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

Sounds like autumn color is more advanced up your way. It's going to be about another 2-1/2 weeks here. Hereabouts, I always think about Oct. 21-22 is the absolute peak…and year after year, that has typically proven the case.

I'm glad you enjoyed the post and pix. It was a good day yesterday. Today is heavily overcast, windy, low-50s. But in a few minutes, I'm going to head out again for a while.

I do appreciate your nice comments. Thank you.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bonnie…

Maybe my circadian rhythm is off, however, my sleep/awake cycles are the same; maybe it's some form of Seasonal Affective Disorder, although I've always liked—and been energized by—dark, dim, days. I love winter (summer is my least favorite season) and especially the period from mid-October through December.

If asked, I'd claim to be a "transition" person…as I tend to enjoy all seasonal transitions, and even like novels and tales which begin amid a transition.

I think life is just catching up with me a bit—and one thing is playing off and reenforcing the next. I need to heave myself out of the rut, get back to some spiritual and emotional core.

Maybe a good dose of autumn is just what I need.…

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jenn…

I'll bet your northcountry is so, so beautiful just now—with scarlet swamp maples and tamaracks like gold flames, and the white birches and dark pines, blue skies, and all those lakes mirroring everything, doubling the whole show!

I'd love to be rambling my favorite Lake Superior country right now.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Debbie…

I'm thinking very much of having a small fire in the fireplace tonight. Still haven't turned any heat on—but all the cottage windows except the one one in the bedroom have been closed, and that one is just opened an inch or so. Tonight is supposed to dip into the mid-40s.

I appreciate your comments, your sharing of faith—and I understand completely because I do know what you say is true. I have been so very blessed in my life, given so much more than I deserve; it is only by God's love and grace that I am here, on this riverbank.

I know that, too…and when I get down, I feel guilty because I don't want to seem ungrateful for my gifts of family and friends, a cottage on a lovely river, and a forum where I can share it in at least a small way—through writing and photography—with others.

Thank you, honestly, for your kind words.

The Weaver of Grass said...

There is magic in every word and every photograph on your blog Scribe. I can almost smell that "harvest festival" smell of the dying leaves and those lovely michaelmas daisies. Do hop you felt spiritually renewed after your meander. Best wishes.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Weaver…

The day out and the walk helped. I'm hoping a few more similar "doses" may go a long ways toward curing what ails me.

I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

Bernie said...

Another beautiful post Grizz, I sense you are a bit restless and looking for something....I know you are enjoying the beauty of Fall and hang in there Winter is soon along.....Have a great day my friend.......:-) Hugs

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Bernie…

Thank you. I am a bit restless, perhaps feeling a stirring in the blood that comes from a kinship with geese. And while I am getting ready to set off on my afternoon walk—that's about as much migrating as I want to do right now.

See: http://riverdaze.blogspot.com/2009/01/beguiled-by-geese.html

(Sorry, being a techno-idiot I don't know how to put a clickable link in a comment.)

Kelly said...

...such a beautiful and gentle post. I really enjoyed it. Maybe the cold and gray weather day today had me feeling that feeling too. Your words and photos were soothing.

Wanda said...

There is a melancholy to the ending or closing of things and periods, even summer I guess, but...Autumn energizes me, makes me want to move stones, rake leaves, stack firewood, have a fire, cook chili, bake bread, make pies, burn candles, let the outdoors in... it's the crisp fall air that I love...I am glad to see the heat and humidity of summer disappear...summer I tolerate. Cool or cold weather I love.
...Winter's snow is a favorite too...it's only the last few weeks of winter that I get a little impatient...and only because of anticipating spring and it's renewal.

Anonymous said...

Hi Grizzled, this is my first visit to your blog and I'm sure not my last. Fantastic shots of nature's beauty. I found you because you posted on my mom's (Rita-underthemilkyway) blog the day she "burned out". My cousin and I have discussed your comment and how well put your words are. I will be joining her saturday for the last leg of the trip. Take care and amble on!! Heidi

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Kelly…

I got in a short walk, but not much photography today…and no writing. All of which makes me feel rather useless. The cold, gray day, though, I liked. Thank you for your nice words.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Wanda…

You hit it exactly regarding winter, and also how fall energizes. I've had the blahs too long now—and today was good in my book. I just couldn't seem to manage to spend much time enjoying it.

But the way I see it we've had a really good summer this time around, being so unseasonably cool…and now the best three seasons of the year are coming all in a row. How can THAT not be great!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Anonymous/Heidi…

It's great to have you visit! I hope you will come back, and I'm glad you liked this first stopover.

I've really enjoyed your Mom's blog detailing her daily journey. I've always wanted to walk that road, and I envy her adventure. (In the nicest possible way, mind you. Just wishing I could do it, too.)

I've been lax on commenting on her site lately—but I've been lax about commenting in general. Not that that is much of an excuse.

I know you're going to have a dandy time accompanying your Mom—sharing both the walk and the dream. In the years to come, it will mean more to both of you than you can ever imagine, a memory you'll treasure the rest of your lives.

Good luck and Godspeed to both of you…and please thank your mother for sharing her wonderful adventure and her lovely, honest posts.

Now, don't be a stranger to Riverdaze…

Sydney said...

it does sound like you found it Dear Scribe, and I was so inspired... I am always uplifted by your musings and today was particularly poignant. I am going to have to quote you on my Looky Here Blog and link it back to this post if that's OK with you.

You'll find it tomorrow at:
http://lookyhereu.blogspot.com/

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Sydney…

I found a little piece of "it" for sure…but I'm still looking.

Re. quote permission—sure. If there's something you like in there, quote away. I always appreciate a back link, too.

Good to hear from you.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Hi I am back to say that I hope youu have had another ambling day by your river and that you feel renewed as a result. Also - what are those lovely black "beads" in your first photograph please?

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Weaver…

Actually, I spent most of today (so far) at my desk working, except for some time here and there trying to get a shot of a heron fishing the pool in front of the cottage. Later today, I'll try post the best one I managed.

Re. the "black beads" I'm sorry to admit I don't know. Some sort of small seed, a burr I think. At the time I was trying to compose the shot because I liked the way the strung beads seemed to be draped around the woodbine. I think they really add to the shot.

I will try and figure the identity out. They're common hereabouts—just not in name to me. I've looked through several of my books on weeds, but don't find the plant listed. Weeds and grasses are not very high on my botanical nomenclature skills; I need work there, for sure.

TheChicGeek said...

Love these shots, Grizzly! Autumn is my favorite time of year and you have captured the colors beautifully.

I love how you have said, "But I've never minded winter, never feared the cold and waning light. Because I believe in spring."

That's really beautiful. Spring and all the promise it holds...just so lovely. Thank you for your wonderful words of hope. As the Ecclesiastes say, there is a time and season for everything...so true. We always need to remember that, and I think living close to and interacting in nature is the very best healer of our hearts, our minds, our souls.

Have a Wonderful Day, Grizz :D And thank you again...you've given me some great things to ponder.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

ChicGeek…

I love autumn, and love to be out and immersed in autumn. And I do believe in the healing power of nature…as well as the notion that for everything there is a time and season.

I'm glad you read and enjoy these posts, and that you like the photos. Thank you for your nice comments.