Sunday, 13 September 2015

September Rain

there's nothing like a few rainy days 
to inspire 
the shrugging on of a cozy, oversized hoodie 
and the rare indulgence 
of back to back episodes of a favourite show 
with anyone who's in the mood to watch

we've only a few evenings left 
that are gloriously unscheduled 
so perhaps we should just snuggle in
give ourselves over 
to the moody, grey clouds
and drizzled skies 

and enjoy this quiet, lazy pace 
borrowed, it seems, from a season that has 
quietly made its exit.

words and images © copyright Melody Armstrong 2015

Friday, 11 September 2015

fall is in the air

My toenails are shiny pink -- too shiny for August's fresh-off-the-beach toes -- and the cool, dewy grass is still lush and green, but something has shifted within and without.  It feels like fall and I'm not sure I will comply just yet.  Perhaps my favourite jean jacket and boots can wait just a little while longer and I'll choose my white linen top and flip flops instead.  

There are still summer weeds in the garden yet to be pulled, and last night, after three hours of digging weeds, turning soil and planting tulips, we barbecued hamburgers and enjoyed them together on the front porch beneath the warm, low slanted rays of sun (dirt under my fingernails, and all!)

Here I am, friends.....practicing living in the moment -- whatever it brings.  For the time being, I am perfectly content to share another meal outside and give thanks for a day that began with a morning walk in the fog with a dear friend and came to a close with a stretch and one last sip of ice water from a muddy glass.'s treasured moments.

Happy easing into fall......

words and images © copyright Melody Armstrong 2015 (except where otherwise cited) 

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

letting go of summer...

my daughter...last moments of summer at the lake

from my journal just 10 days ago.....

I have already said goodbye to my family who have headed home and left me to happily finish the last of the cleanup and enjoy a final day at the lake by myself.  I am returning, just now, from a long, quiet stroll along the lake shore and I feel sad to think that summer is over.  Again, I've walked to the furthest stretch of beach I can -- all the way to the sandbars at the bend of the river's edge.  The warm splashes of water and soft press of sand in each step are a luxury I wish I could enjoy for just a while longer.  And of course, my pocket is full with a few more rock treasures to add to the growing collection on the fireplace mantle.

These daily walks along the beach, both alone and with those I love, have nourished this hungry soul of mine.  I have met with my Creator here.

it's just the swan and I......

The truth is, my mind hasn't quite caught up with the idea that summer really is coming to a close -- that daylight's long, golden rays have started yawning earlier these days, ready to take a rest from the extended hours of beautiful summer shining.  A part of me is still holding on, I think, to all that summer represents:  family, love, rest, peace, beauty, endless possibility.

Sandy Gingras, another women who loves water and beach, captured my sentiment exactly in these words:
We want to elongate the days, distill the memories, make them last.  At the same time we know that the beauty is in the evanescence....every wave comes in, then retreats.  Every day promises, then turns its back and slips away.  Every joy has a little tease in it, a give and take, and leaves a wake of longing......(from How to Live at the Beach. Emphasis mine)
Oh, yes,  "beauty is in the evanescence."  This phrase has such a profound impact on me.  If only I could really trust it to be true in the deepest parts of me, where I sometimes hold on the hardest.  And yes, how I relate to the "wake of longing" in the letting go.  Richard Paul Evans also phrased this idea so poignantly in his novel The Timepiece:  "At times I wish it were within my power to reach forth my hand and stop the moment--but in this I err.  To hold the note is to spoil the song." (Emphasis mine.)

It's eight o'clock in the evening now and I'm sitting in the sand along the water's edge.   The beach is a solitary place - just me and the gorgeous white swan I was hoping to see again, floating near the mouth of the river. There is a warm breeze teasing my frazzled, sun-bleached strands into tickles across my cheek.  The shore receives the subtle, rippled waves with a soft give -- each small lap etching a pattern further into its sandy embrace.

I am the shore.  I am supple to the shaping and moulding of all that has transpired this summer.  It leaves me feeling a little tender and vulnerable.  Each moment, happy and carefree or burdened and lonely, has etched its pattern into me.  I go home different than I came.  I have willingly reached out to new possibilities and in doing so, I have also let go.  This is good.

By the time I leave the beach tonight, the sullen sky shares no starry show...only dark, grey, billowy clouds that just might send a pitter-patter of rain song to lull me asleep.

words and images © copyright Melody Armstrong 2015 (except where otherwise cited)