Thursday, September 17, 2009

Stillness: September

by June

September is change: the lengthening of the shadows across the bright grass, the daily deepening chill in the air, the melancholy scritch-scritching of the crickets. This month will bring frost and flaming-red trees. The screen door will disappear. The windows will go down at night and not come so far back up during the day.

And, too, September ushers in such a rush of responsibility. All around us friends head back into their routines of work and school. We struggle against deadlines and obligations. We harvest what we can from the garden and work to save some of the abundance for colder days. I make and re-make a mental list of chores: Which plants need to come in the house? Which need to be blanketed with pine boughs? When will we find the time to put the shutters up on the screen house? Is there enough wood split and stacked? When will we move the almost-pullets into their new coop?

Yet, against the urgency of winter-coming, there is something in each day that whispers: Be still. Listen. Feel the sunshine.

It is a treasure in my life that my daughters are home with me on these days tilting hard toward autumn. It is a treasure that they too can be still. They seem unafraid of quiet, of listening to nothing but the thoughts flowing through their minds. What a comfort it will be to them all their lives to know how to hush themselves and let a moment seep into their memory. Young as they are, they have been struck already by that deeply human recognition: This cannot last. Gather it while you may.

One day has distilled this September for me. We chanced onto solitude at our favorite beach. We read. We floated. We watched the sandpipers and the seagulls and the ducks and the loons. We felt the sun on our skin and knew it wouldn't last but also knew that our memories of these hours would keep through winter. We were still and took it all in, gathered every precious sensation to hoard against the cold.


Spring Lake Farm said...


The Cutting Edge of Ordinary said...

Beautiful as always June. You always seem to capture the perfect words to share with us. Thanks for that.

Magnolia Handspun said...

So beautifully written. I am holding on to summer still with all my might.

Laura at By the Bushel said...

Thought provoking- beautiful. Thank you.
I needed this. :)

Dawn Suzette said...

So nice to cherish the season while planning ahead for the next... really lovely thoughts and pictures!
Wishing my daughter could embrace the stillness a little more. Always on the move to find and collect. Maybe she will find it when things quite down for the winter!

Sharon said...

Psalm 46:10

sarah said...

You really have a talent with how you write. It is beautiful to read and so well said.

tara said...

i loved reading this post this morning. so beautiful.
living in California, we don't experience such an obvious change of season, or bundling of our home and garden, but there are definite signs of fall, and i try to heighten my children's sense of each of them.
your girls are lucky to have such a wonderful mama!
(and an aside... are you loving Housekeeping?)

lucy said...

this just made my day - i read every word of it! i am glad there is many of us that thinking(and feeling) similar thoughts and feelings towards the change in the season!

sarah in the woods said...

How beautiful. Makes me want to go sit in the sun. I love summer.

Colleen - the AmAzINg Mrs. B said...

While the others are enjoying the last moments of summer, I am relishing in your beautiful description of the photos..beautiful!I picture now the leaves changing, the sent of a wood fire in the air, pumpkins, cinnamon and hot chocolate! Enjoy your summer's end...and welcome fall with open arms and hearts :-)

farmama sara said...

You really have a way with words! Thanks for the reminder to savor these good times! Lovely photos......makes me miss the lake where I grew up!

JGH said...

What a beautiful post and a much needed reminder to stop rushing and be a little more in the moment. I needed to hear that this week!

Anonymous said...

ah, i don't know what is more beautiful June, the words or the photos. it is 65 degrees here in the house this morning and we are pulling on sweaters. to me autumn is always the time for rethinking, reorganizing, maybe it's just preparing the nest for winter.

i saw my first wooly bear caterpillar this morning while walking the dog, but by the time i got back with my camera it was gone. to me that marks the start of fall!

Wren said...

Stillness. You've captured stillness and taken me there with you. Thank you. This post is just beautiful June. I love the fact that your girls appreciate it too. Listening to the crickets crick-crick as I type and loving it. I love how they get s l o w e r as it gets colder. Now I have to go shut the windows too. Soak some of that beach for me too...

Linda said...

Makes me long for country life again. How lovely that you have time to savour the slide into autumn with your daughters.

Sounds as if your preparations for winter are quite serious - these things are muted here in the city.

Toni said...

So beautifully written. Thank you.

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