I found time to get some dirt and gravel under my tires at sunset tonight, a long overdue breath of country air. A sliver of sunset hung at the horizon as low scuttle clouds raced from the south. I secretly hoped for a spectacular underlighting that never came, but the skies didn’t disappoint. My short jaunt of skychasing on this unseasonably warm day was the perfect cabin fever cure.
As we enter November, fall color is deep and plentiful after a week of cool, wet weather. Whether the sky is overcast grey or brilliant blue, the reds, oranges, and yellows pop. The weight of the rain brought many leaves to the ground, creating a carpet around and over our gardens. Perennials may be on their way into dormancy, but they’re refusing to go without one last show of gold.
I spent most of this beautiful weekend laying six yards of mulch to define new beds and borders for next phase of our landscape redesign. On weekends when I’m focused on working in the garden, I sometimes forget to stop and enjoy it. This afternoon, after a shower to clean the layer of mulch off myself, I took a quick stroll with my camera. I wanted to catch the harvest light in the garden — a quality that only occurs this time of year. The angle trending south. The warmth that belies the chill in the air.
The office garden has become my favorite corner of the landscape. It was the last garden I designed this summer, the one that kept calling my name even though I knew the days were too hot and my budget too thin. I wonder if it’s because I saw it all the time, through the home office window, while I enjoyed my morning coffee, or grilled on the back patio.
I bought this coffee mug in 2016 at the Glacier Point gift shop in Yosemite National Park to add to my collection of mug memories. My son and I were on day three of our summer trip to California. Printed on it is a quote from naturalist John Muir.
“Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.”
It was the perfect senitiment to capture this adventure of ours through central California. We’ve hiked a lot of paths together over the years, and more than a few of them have been dirt.
It’s the most perfect autumn morning, our season’s first chill. I stepped out into the crisp, 35°F air and felt it fill my lungs. I paused for a moment, then exhaled a satisfyingly visible trail of vapor back to the universe.
The last vestiges of summer’s heat were chased out by a stormy wall of cold air that’s left behind a chilly breeze that feels like October.
I’m more determined than ever to #ShareBeauty — but that doesn’t mean I ignore all the ugliness in the world. My heart is heavy and hurting for our world right now, for the lack of compassion so evident in our civic conversation. But I can’t bear to amplify the ugliness and prolong its echo. I can only confront it along my daily path and focus on providing fresh air and respite for those on the right side of history.