Tag Archives: October

October is …

unrivalled, my favorite time of year.

It is a month of contrasts for me.

The joy of Autumn.

Leaf-strewn country roads, leaves falling as I drive with the top down, deep colors in the forests, tobacco hanging in aging barns, hay waiting in long fields and orchards full with ripe, red apples.

These are the joyous things that lift me high and make me feel as free as the raptors migrating along the spine of my beloved Clinch Mountains.

The sad parts have a say, but they are muted; dulled by the magnificence of Mother Nature as she concedes, under the watchful eye of Father Time, her reign to Old Man Winter.

Time, which has no regard for anyone, will pass without fail or regard to any of us.

The voice of things past becomes harder to hear as years go by.

That, in and of itself, is a good thing.

If I stumble and fall over what is in the past, then it’s not possible to say that I have moved on, adapted, regained my balance.

I could wallow in what can’t be undone, but to what purpose?

I could brood (I’ve been told that I brood in the fashion of my Irish and Scottish ancestors).

And sometimes, I do, simply because I feel like brooding.

During those times, I throw breakable things at breakable things and have completely awesome meltdowns that leave me purged, yet restless.

Most often, however, I just go with it.

Time doesn’t care about me, mine, you or yours.

It simply passes, and once it’s gone, it’s gone.

I’m claiming this October for myself.

Not for what I’ve lost, but for what it is.

My favorite time of year.

A peaceful, easy feeling.

That, for the here and now, is how I intend to roll.

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Even though …

my daughter followed her own path and is no longer affiliated with a marching band, I find I’m still hooked.

I find it a shame that, to my knowledge, anyway, college marching bands do not compete.

I’m forced, because of this limitation, to go to High School Marching Band competitions.

I’m still looking for one to rival Twin Spring’s “Superman” Season, which occurred in or around 2006-7.

My Taylor nailed the trumpet.

I could say that because I’m biased (which, of course I am), but I say it because she nailed it.

I didn’t mean to look forward to it this year.

Band competition season, that is.

I told myself I wasn’t going to make the circuit this time around, but I knew I was kidding myself when I said it.

It seems that unwittingly and without regret, I became a band geek.

I’m ok with that.

Some of the people I admire most call themselves by the same name and so I find myself in good company.

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UVAWise Tubas. Love the reflections.

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Very fond memories. UVAWise Marching Cavaliers.

When October goes …

there is an emptiness.  A change in the air, the sky, the trees, the grass, the morning, that reminds us that time is passing.

In a few short weeks, it will be winter and before that even, all of the color of Autumn will be gone.  The trees will become bare, the landscape brown, colorless and bleak, but …

In those long months of seemingly colorless moments, there is a beauty that can only be found in Winter.

Just as each season has its own to offer, Winter is no different.

The trees will be bare of leaves and standing tall and proud, naked sentries during the cold and dreary months of winter.

And then there is snow.

Snow cannot be discounted as one of the most marvelous sights of all creation.

Mornings quieted under a blanket of white that transcends all rational thought.  How can something be so silent and still be so beautiful?

The sound of snow falling, the soft “pfft” it makes as it falls, one flake upon another until there are inches to be measured, is a sound of solace.

solitude

It reminds me a bit of a piano.  It is no secret that I love the piano and have a deep and awe-inspired respect for piano players.  And the snow, as it makes its soft sound while falling makes music that nothing else in nature can duplicate.

I look forward to the snow, laying heavy on the bare branches of the trees, covering the brown grass and leaving the road white, tire and animal tracks evident in its otherwise malevolent stillness.

October is gone, November is here and before we can be fully accustomed to the cold of winter, the tulips of spring will be blooming.

Mother Nature will have her turn again come springtime, but the here and now belongs to Old Man Winter.

He is a shrewd and unpredictable one and I tend to think he likes it that way.

Although October has officially ended, I feel the need to share one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite artists just to make it official.

Enjoy the remnants of Autumn, relish every day, live every moment and take nothing for granted.

There is, after all, no promise of another day so in actuality, this may very well be the last one.

Look at it, really look at it and see the beauty that surrounds you.  There will never be a moment exactly like the one we are in now.  Time marches on.

That is what time does.  Don’t hold its nature against it.  Instead, embrace it and enjoy each segment as though it were the last.

There can, if each moment is enjoyed and embraced, be no regrets for a life not lived.

Until next time, be well, my friends … be well.

One of the longest weeks on record …

is happening now.

In real time.

I was so disappointed this morning when I woke up to realize it was only Thursday.

I fell asleep on the couch last night and woke up just in time to get in bed before nine-thirty.

My body was convinced I was dead since I haven’t been in bed before midnight in months.

But I wasn’t dead … just exhausted.

And it isn’t even a full moon.

The Harvest Moon comes in September.

God help us all.

I have sleptwalked (is that even a word?  I don’t think so, but I’m past worrying about vernacular correctness), twice this week and once, spent some time (how much time is still undetermined) sleeping in my back yard … not camping, as in sleeping bag, campfire, guitar player, roasting marshmallows, but …

On.

The.

Ground.

With the spiders and other things that creep in the night.

Never, I heartily assure you, is it a good feeling to wake up outside when you started out inside and then wonder how you actually made it to the yard without falling off the porch and breaking half the bones in your body.

I am, it seems, fairly agile in my sleep and maneuver as well or better as when I am awake.

I now have nightmares about my nightmares.

Scary.

And then …

I  hit a deer on the way to work yesterday and in doing so, messed up my car enough to put it, for the moment, out of commission.

The deer, other than a probable bald spot (this deduction coming from the amount of deer hair on my car), seemed no worse for the wear.

It is the first time, ever, that I have hit a deer.  It made me cry right before it made me puke.

Never mind that the deer jumped up, looked directly at me as though cursing me to hell and back then bounded over a fence, I was physically ill.

Twice.

The September raptor migration along the spine of Clinch Mountain is coming up and I need my convertible to completely enjoy the experience of driving up the mountain.

Top down.

Wind in my face.

Sun on my skin.

These are things that are of utmost importance to me.

My weekend warriorness (again, not a real work, but whatever) kicks into gear once Autumn gets here.  Five  A.M. never seems quite so early on Autumn Saturdays as it does when I get up during the week to go to work.

Go figure.

Two of my sweet little patients have passed away.  It takes me about two minutes to fall in love with them.

I have said before I am too softhearted to be a nurse and yet … well, here I am.

I haven’t taken a photograph in over a week.  Not because there hasn’t been anything to photograph, for each day offers something magnificent, but because …

I don’t even know.  I don’t have a good excuse.

I am too tired to even try to come up with an excuse.  Judging from the posts and messages from facebook friends and tweeps, I’m not the only one feeling the weariness.

It’s been a busy, busy, busy … well, you get the picture, week.

Ok, let’s be real here, a busy month.

My teacher family and friends are wishing they were, even now, at retirement age.

Talk about wishing your life away.

But even though I am exhausted, I am thankful.

I am more thankful than I am tired and that makes up for all the other stuff.

Most of the time, anyway.

Autumn is Southwest Virginia

Autumn is Southwest Virginia

Autumn in Southwest Virginia

Autumn in Southwest Virginia

Autumn in Southwest Virginia

Autumn in Southwest Virginia

If you listen …

you can can  hear the songs the leaves sing.  I suppose it comes as no big surprise that my blog posts this time of year pretty much revolve around Autumn, specifically  October, which brings with it the beauty of leaves that so many people, both photographers and just onlookers, seek out.  It is easy to find places to look at and enjoy the leaves on the trees that are turning colors of fiery red, brilliant orange and intense, glistening gold.  It is also easy to find trails to walk, especially around Southwest Virginia, that will take you beneath that brilliant canopy.

But those aren’t the only leaves that call to me.  One of my favorite experiences is walking along a mountain trail and have a gust of wind come up; one that blows a hard puff and send leaves spiraling out of the trees, floating and swirling as they fall gracefully to the ground.  There they make a carpet that can only be found once a year; a colorful carpet that transforms an otherwise brown and dying earth with a brilliance that cannot be rivaled.   In that carpet, it is not unusual to find mushrooms, acorns, walnuts and a myriad of other things that add their own beauty to that which is already there.

In the silence of a trail shoot when there is only me and what surrounds me, I listen to the sound.  What a symphony.  As the wind blows through the leaves, they rustle, talking back and forth, singing because, after all, this is their time.  Their moment to shine and take the spotlight.  And they sing because they know that even on the ground, they are spectacular.

They find happiness in falling and flying, giving way to freedom and pure unbridled joy.  At least it seems to me to be a joyful experience.  They look to be having so much fun that it makes me wish I could float from the trees, singing a song of thankfulness just to be a brilliantly colored leaf in October.  I find it exhilarating to speed around the bends of curves of leaf-covered mountain roads where leaves have pooled as though waiting for me to come along.

They laugh as I speed past, blowing them up and swirling them above the road and then back again.  Sometimes they find their way through the open convertible top and into my car.  They make me want to laugh just as, at times, the magnificence that I am allowed to be a part of makes me cry.  Not sad tears, but tears of happiness that I am alive and able to become, even for a short time, a part of Autumn.  I love being a photographer, especially in October.

 

Ecclesiastes  3:11 ~ He has made every thing beautiful in his time: also he has set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God makes from the beginning to the end