It's just all too messy.
I left for work this morning and the day was so beautiful. And I couldn't enjoy it. I couldn't feel the air on my face. I couldn't stand in awe of the sunflower field or the three whitetail deer racing my car down our dirt road. I couldn't be home to enjoy this autumn as I wanted.
Ain't gonna lie, the attitude was more than a little messy today.
But I got to work and my best friend greets me with a smile. We catch up from over our long weekend. We get to work.
And some of it, yeah, it turned out to be work outside. Where the air was just this crisp, enveloping edge of goodness and the sun was this amazing golden light, the kind you get when it's slipping further and further away towards the cold, dark nights of winter.
It was just a bit more than I deserved at the moment. And it was just a bit more of a reminder that life isn't about perfection. It's about intention. And when you INTEND your life instead of PERFECT your life, what you find is PURPOSE.
I wanted to intentionally enjoy autumn. That's just a little bit of a hard thing for this spontaneous girl to do. But I made a list, because I hate lists. So it made perfect sense to write a list of everything I wanted to get out of this autumn. I didn't want it to fly by, and with the first winter snow I didn't want to look back and wonder where it had gone when I wasn't looking.
I wanted to LOOK. I wanted to SEE autumn. So I wrote that list.
I intended, and got purpose.
Autumn To-Do Check List
- Pick Apples
That day when Aunt Connie and Uncle Donnie were visiting, and Mama and her sister were talking up a storm about canning and gardening and storing up for winter, I offered and said I'd haul on out to the shelter belt and pick a couple gallons of crab apples for them both. So they said sure, and I went.
- Take pictures of Autumn
Oh, this autumn. It needs a place here all to its self. It's been so beautiful.
- Make a Thankful Tree
- Make a Thankful List
When your sister buys a mini milk can 'cause you were broke and just wanted something to put your Thankful Tree in because it was just so lovely, the thought of hanging leaves full of beautiful things that have happened to you on a branch.
Some of the beautiful things:
- Carl's smile
- Spontaneously spending the night at Hannah's house
- First corn maze and pumpkin patch
- The birds gathering
- Dinner at the Chinese Restaurant with Dawna
- Light cinnamon candle
- Light any candle
This really wasn't a hard one for me. I wake up in the morning, get dressed, get breakfast, light a candle. I get home from work, take my boots off, sit at my desk, and light a candle. Candles are just there. Always.
- Walk in the leaves/Jump in a pile of leaves
That day we hauled on out to the lake and found a golden afternoon on the beach. Call me an introvert, but the best lakes and beaches are the ones when you're the only one out there on a blustery day with leaves falling and shoreline roaring and ice cream at the end of it.
- Take an evening walk with Sarge
It's just me and him most evenings when I get home.
- Make cinnamon leaf ornaments
These ornaments and me, we go back a long way. When I was eight and we lived in a ranch house in Wyoming and Mama was getting ready for Christmas, I opened the oven and all these cinnamon gingerbread men were looking back at me with the most delicious smell. I wanted to eat them, but we hung them on the Christmas tree instead.
I've made cinnamon heart ornaments for Valentines, I made cinnamon birds for my Christmas tree, and now I've got leaves to string across the dining room windows for autumn.
- Watch the geese fly south
Though I have paused in a moment of glory to watch the geese fly south, I didn't have my camera and they were gone before I could have gotten it. I hope I will see more of them come November.
What's miraculous about this autumn, though, are the birds. Flocks and flocks just hanging and rising and dipping and diving over the fields, the millet and the sunflowers. I've seen flocks of Meadow Larks, Grackles, and even a flock of Common Starlings landed on our house passing through one day.
This day, below, I was out on the bales, basking in the glorious Saturday, and all of the sudden they were there, swooping and diving.
- Make hot chocolate
If I could just remark, there have been far more than one hot chocolate made this autumn. And I fully intend that there should be more.
- Knit/Crochet a scarf
- Go through summer clothes
- Chop wood
- Sip apple cider
- Wear dark nail polish
These are just a few of the things on my list that I have done but didn't get the chance to take a picture of. Although, there will be more dark nail polish, more apple cider, and more chopping wood, and plenty more knitting and crocheting.
17 of 50, and one full month to go before Christmas starts peeking around the corners of November. Even if I don't get them all, it's been lovely still. Autumn has lasted far longer than I thought. And it still has such a long way to go. So much to look forward to, so much to do.
The other day, though, I thought for sure I felt winter tugging at an edge of my soul.