Posts Tagged ‘beauty’

Waking up when I wanted to, not when the alarm clock told me it was time.

A good morning hug and the sound of an egg cooking in the pan.

A trip to the grocery store with a hot cup of tea and a list; no rush, no panic, just a relaxing spin up and down the aisles.

All of my chores done by 2:00 and a day sunny and warm enough to finally head outside.

A walk around the block with my daughter, just far enough ahead of me on her scooter to pretend she’s on her own, but still stopping every now and then to turn around and make sure I was there.


A day warm enough to take a deep breath and fill my lungs with fresh air.

A sky blue enough to look up and appreciate what is yet to come.  The trees are still bare but they hold in them the hope of more warm days to come.  After so much cold and grey and dark, spring may finally be here.

blue sky and tree

Home for a cup of tea in a fancy cup and saucer, with nothing more to celebrate than making it through another week, and learning to appreciate a good day, however and whenever it comes.

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‎They told us to expect snow yesterday. “They” being those weather people who seem to get it wrong twice as often as they get it right. So when I turned off the lights and climbed the stairs to bed last night with nary a flake in sight, I wasn’t all that surprised.

But this morning I woke to a winter wonderland.

There’s something indescribable about the first snow. It’s like I completely forget through the course of spring and summer and fall and then when it happens I’m amazed all over again. Of course by January I’m completely over the whole idea of it, but for now, on this day late in November, I’m sufficiently in awe.

It’s not enough snow to ruin my day. The roads are clear, the trains will run and other than the possibility of wet socks, all will continue as it regularly does.

But for the wonder of the trees.

I couldn’t take my eyes off them on my drive to the station. I wanted to pull the car over, jump outside, and take a thousand pictures. But I couldn’t, didn’t, so I will have to settle for trying to imprint the images in my mind.

Mother Nature has done her magic today. Every surface is covered in white. Every tree branch and twig and blade of grass. It makes me feel incredibly large and infinitely small‎, all in the same breath.

It’s been a forgettable week so far. Forgettable in its sameness and repetition; seen through tired eyes and weary tears. I haven’t been feeling well this week, that dull ache that tells of oncoming sickness but is not yet at the stage where you have an excuse not to function at the usual level. So instead I trudge along, uninspired, exhausted, uninterested.

So this morning when I woke up to the beauty outside my window I felt like it was a little gift just for me. Like Mother Nature is trying to help me perk up a little, to see the wonder that exists in even the most regular of weeks.

Because everything seems better when there’s a little icing on top.

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It has been a rainy summer where I am.  It kind of seems like spring, only I look at the calendar and realize it’s actually August.

We’ve had days where the rain has fallen from morning until night, and days where the sun is shining one minute, and the clouds roll in the next.

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve wondered where my umbrella is, but can count on one hand the number of times I’ve pulled out the sunscreen.

In a word, it’s been wet.

Growing up in a place where it rains A LOT has given me a certain appreciation for rainy weather.  I love to fall asleep to the sound of the rain beating down on the roof and I can still lose myself for hours watching the path of the drops down the window pane.

But what may seem like fun in November or March definitely loses its appeal in July and August.

And so I have been complaining about the weather, just like everyone else; choosing to focus on the downside and ignore the beauty.

Until one day in my garden when I saw this.

A little drop.

A little drop.

Maybe a rainy summer isn’t so bad after all.

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More snow.

It honestly seems like winter will never end.

But today Mother Nature must have realized we’re all getting tired; tired of the inconvenience of it all.

Because today she used the snow to paint us a beautiful picture.

Today the snow has frosted the trees, from the largest branches to the smallest twigs. All the way from bottom to top and left to right. It looks like snow from a fairy tale, right here outside my window.

I want to stare at it for hours, taking in the unexpected beauty of it all. To accept the realization that this is the silver lining.

So I will take a breath and appreciate, if even just for this moment, the gift of this beauty, and the peace it has brought. For all too soon it will be gone, melted away before my eyes and forgotten in my mind.

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I wish you could see it. I’m passing by the lake and it’s the most amazing sight.

It’s so cold out that the top of the water is still. Not solid, just so still that you have to look very closely to see if it’s moving.

On a regular day the water goes on as far as I can see but today there is a wall. A wall of clouds just at the horizon, so low they seem to be sitting on the water.

I’m sure there’s a perfectly reasonable meteorological explanation for this. It probably has a big name and I’m sure I could Google it, but I’m not going to.

Instead I choose to believe that the clouds came down low in the sky for a look at the water and got too close. Now they’re frozen there, like a tongue to a metal pole.

It’s really that cold out.

I don’t know why the idea of the frozen clouds makes me smile. I should probably feel bad for them being stuck there, but I don’t.

Instead I’m thankful for their beauty, for igniting this story in my head. It seems like a long time since I’ve felt ignited by anything and it feels good.

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For almost an entire week I told myself it wasn’t what it looked like. It was just a trick of the eye; a combination of bad lighting and a poor angle. There was no way it could be what it appeared to be. No way.

Until I discovered that it was.

My first grey hair.

I saw it first about a week ago and convinced myself that it was just really blonde. I have learned that being a redhead means having all kinds of crazy shades in my hair – all the way from black to platinum blonde – so I didn’t think much of it.

But every time I looked in the mirror my eyes were automatically drawn to it until I couldn’t stand it any longer. I had to know, for good or bad.

Why I chose that particular moment, standing not in the privacy of my own bathroom at home but rather in a public washroom at my office, I’ll never know. I just decided I had to know. It couldn’t wait one minute longer.

So I leaned over the sink and stuck my face as close to the mirror as it would go. And there it was, right there in the middle of my part, right there in the front. Looking closely there was really no way I could deny it. It wasn’t platinum blonde but rather an almost shiny white colour. I couldn’t pretend any longer.

And then I did what any self-respecting person would do in my situation.

I pulled it out.

I know you’re not supposed to pull them out, but seriously? Maybe there are people out there with more self-restraint (and self-esteem) than me but they certainly aren’t any people I know.

So there I stood, the hair in my hand, in a public washroom where one of my coworkers could barge in at any moment. And I didn’t know what to do. For some reason it didn’t feel right to throw it away. Instead I turned, walked out the door and down the hallway with it still clutched in my hand.

Down the hall, through two more doors until I was back in my office, sitting in my chair. I pulled out an envelope, stuck the grey hair in it, sealed it and tucked it in my purse.

I have no idea why.

What am I going to do with this thing? Carry it around in my purse for months? Yeah, that’s not creepy or anything. But something about it seemed so monumental that I couldn’t throw it out. A little part of me wants to tape it in a scrapbook, a baby book of getting older, if you will. Then I would have somewhere to keep track of all of these things, first grey hair, first day wearing reading glasses, first hot flash. All of these things that mean I’m getting older. How come there’s no scrapbook for those things?

Because we’ve been taught that getting older is something to dread, not celebrate; something to hide, not flaunt. And I’ve been a good student, I’ve lapped up all of those lessons and filed them away, so ingrained that I’m not ready to see this as a positive.

Instead, years of hair dye and root touch-ups flashed before my eyes. There is nothing graceful about my vision of getting older and I hate myself for it.

I wish I could have left that first grey hair right where it was, not caring who saw it, a badge of some kind, earned over the years.

But I couldn’t.

So it sits in an envelope in my purse, maybe waiting for a day when looking at it won’t make me sad.

Or maybe just waiting to be joined by grey hair number two?

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There’s just something about the fall.

I can’t put my finger on it exactly but something about this season makes me feel like I’ve arrived home after a long trip. Like the other three seasons are spent visiting foreign lands and when fall comes I again feel surrounded by all things familiar.

The warm breezes of summer are replaced by the refreshing, cleansing winds of the fall. The leaves rustle and flutter to the ground, the branches are once again bare and the colours, oh those colours.

Perhaps it’s because I am a redhead and have always identified with the burnt oranges and tinted reds of the autumn but something about those colours make me want to stop and drink them in. I want to take pictures of them, rub my fingers over them in the hopes that their magic rainbow will come off on my hands.

my street

I find excuses to go for walks in the fall. I drag my feet so my shoes can make the satisfying rustle in the fallen leaves. The cracking of overhead branches, snapping under the weight of the scurrying squirrels, racing to collect all they can before the winter comes. The honking of the flying geese, as if they are bidding me goodbye before their long journey. The sounds of fall soothe me, they rub away the sharp corners and smooth over the rough edges. I decompress.

For some the fall marks the end. The end of summer, the end of warmth, frivolity, long days and short nights. For me the fall has always been about beginnings. The fall is about fresh starts, long afternoons spent dreaming and planning, mornings with cold toes sliding in to warm slippers and fingers laced around steaming mugs of tea.

Fall is my deep breath.

Wherever I go in the fall I find myself constantly scanning the ground in search of the perfect leaf. It is impossible for me to come home from almost anywhere without pockets stuffed to overflowing with leaves. All different sizes and shapes, in all of those incredible colours.  I want to preserve them, savour them, carry their calming, soothing aura with me always. So that in the depths of the winter cold or the height of the summer heat I can pull them out and remember.

I tuck them between the pages of books on my shelf. There they remain until some day in the future when I pull a book off the shelf and crack it open, only to see a small reminder of a fall long past flutter slowly to the ground; slightly crinkled and brittle but with its colours intact. And it helps me remember.

That little leaf is a reminder. A sign that fall will come again, and I will be home.

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