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Observe life at its best, listen to life’s songs, embrace life’s bounties, breathe the breath of life and savor life to its fullest!

Awakenings: Autumn Road

Autumn_road

Along the many highways and byways, change is imminent: change in season brings about crisp, cool mornings along with the bursting forth of vivid reds, burnt oranges, spun gold as leaves intensify in brilliance during their own change. Within this anticipation is yet another eager time of awakening. The change in color announces the time to venture cross country in search of nature’s most glorious landscape.

CHECK OUT THE VIDEO AND POETRY @AWAKENINGS…

“I’ve never known anyone yet who doesn’t suffer a certain  restlessness when autumn rolls around. . . . We’re all eight years old again and anything is possible.”

~Sue Grafton

See on Scoop.itAwakenings: America & Beyond

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The Falling Leaves of Autumn

Thank-You4Posts are prepared daily for catnip’s sister site Awakenings since that site is tuned into what’s happenin’ on a daily basis, foodie fun and sounds of music, facts and trivia, of the past. Such has not been the case for catnipoflife, which is more inspirational. It is most important before going any further with today’s post to express thoughts of gratitude to those of you who have faithfully followed catnipoflife since its inception in 2011. Of course, that also applies to new followers and visitors. Because of YOU, I am still here! Thank you! Thank you! Thank You!

Often posts from Awakenings are scooped onto catnip. Today’s post, however, needs to be showcased on both sites equally. Are you ready? More clearly – are you ready for Autumn?

AUTUMN! WHAT A FANTASTIC TIME OF THE YEAR!

Get ready! Get set!

Tuesday, September 23
The First Day of Autumn (Autumnal Equinox) 2014

 

The hours and days of summer relaxation have come to an end. But, the ending of summer signifies changes in seasons and anticipation of crisp, cool mornings, the bursting forth of bright oranges, reds and yellows as leaves intensify in brilliance during their own change. Within this anticipation is yet another eager time of awakening.  The change in color announces the coming of falling leaves.
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There is music set to the theme of falling leaves…
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There is poetry where the falling leaves represent soldiers on the battlefield…
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There are childhood memories surrounding the falling leaves…
*****

With the falling leaves comes the time for the yard rake. While no one probably LIKES to rake leaves, there is the envelopment of a very special atmosphere. As the rake moves back and forth in rhythmic motion, leaves cling to its ‘fingers’ before being deposited in a pile. The pile keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger. All the while children laugh and giggle in anticipation of what’s coming next.

It only takes is a few seconds to say, “Get ready, get set, go!” for each child to jump right smack dab in the middle! As your child becomes acclimated to the change in season, plant the seed of anticipation. If yours is an area of few or no trees, look around for your ‘pile of leaves’ – whatever brings on the smiles, laughter and giggles that will be long remembered and treasured.

 

Catch the Falling Leaves

If you ask me about Autumn
It is leaves dancing across the ground—
The essence of a former life
Wherever nature’s spirit abounds
 *****
It is one last fling before Winter’s sleep
Flitting and flaunting vivid hues of gold—
Dramatic, enchanting, ah-h-h breathtaking
Awe-inspiring colors to behold
 *****
It is a season of predestined change
In a distinctive way nature acknowledges—
Random yellows, rusty oranges, bold reds
Exciting the soul through emblazon images
*****
It is nature in action
Intensely, magically changing—
Summer’s palette transforming
As leaves gently fall or left dangling
 *****
It is muticolored leaves blowing in the wind
Like the strumming of a fiddle
The crux of fun for someone to rack in a pile
Then jump right smack dab in the middle
 *****
Run, jump, catch the falling leaves
As they flutter round and round
Stuff them in your pockets
For the child in you is found

catniplogosm1

©2012

catnipoflife

“How beautifully leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days.”

—John Burroughs (American Naturalist and Essayist, 1837–1921)

  

2 Comments »

Twigs, Leaves and Pine Cones

This story is dedicated to my mother (see picture at end of post). Today would have been her 94th birthday. She went to be with our Heavenly Father on December 14, 2010. I miss you dearly, Mossie (This is name by which all of her friends and family knew her best). . .

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Twigs, Leaves and Pine Cones

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TwigsLeavesPineCones

Autumn, a most distinguishable season known expressively for its droppings. The spillage of defoliation dons front yards, backyards, streets, rooftops, gutters, you name it. The wind swirls and twirls that which has dropped wherever on whatever happens to be in its path. The result: hours upon hours of raking, sweeping, blowing, scooping, dumping, burning, cleaning, etc. Yet, in the midst of it all is splendiferous beauty and visions of inspiration waiting to be captured within the creative mind. Even in its frondy abandonment, each tree exposes its skeletal branches in patterns unique to one’s imagination.

It is on such an autumnal afternoon that sheer creativity encapsulates my mind’s eye. The source: my mom, aka Mossie. This is during a time when being outdoors is more frequent than indoors, and twigs, leaves and pine cones of deciduous trees and shrubs come to be more than the announcement of the oncoming dread of winter.

    PineConePineConePineConePineConePineCone

“Kitten!” Mama calls from the back porch. That’s my nickname. From the time I can first remember, I have a love and strong affinity to cats.

“Coming.” I quickly run into the house wondering why I am called inside so soon. I’ve been outside only long enough to scan the pecan trees whose naked branches extend an invitation upward and outward to climb on board. They will just have to wait to see which one might be chosen next. The way I love to climb those trees my thoughts quickly shift to a better nickname, that of Monkey. Erase those thoughts! I’ll stay with Kitten.

The screen door slams and Mama immediately turns around giving me ‘THE look’ which lasts for only a few seconds. She wipes her hands on her already soiled apron and extends her arms for a quick hug. “Guess what, Kitten? I need you to collect some twigs, leaves and pine cones.” Understand I am only allowed to climb the pecan trees and the oak, so usually the area of the pine trees is off limits. Mama knows if given the opportunity, I would surely try to climb one!

“That’s silly. Why do we need twigs, leaves and pine cones?” Of course, I know in my mind Mama is just trying to get me to help clean up the yard.  Right? I must admit it needs some TLC but that really is not one of my favorite chores. Yet, further thought does lead to it being a better choice than cleaning the toilet.

“Ah-h-h, my sweet, we are going to make something beautiful!” Mama gleams with excitement.

The only response I can think of is “WHAT?” Um-m-m? How does one possibly make something beautiful out of twigs, leaves (mostly dead at this point) and pine cones? My thoughts are running rampant.

“You’ll see. Think creative. Put your imagination to work. Now, go on outside. Get the bucket from the back porch and collect a goodly amount of the twigs, leaves and pine cones. Not just any mind you. Be selective. Look for twigs with character, leaves that still have hints of color and pine cones of different shapes. Now go!” With that being said, Mama returns to her kitchen duties leaving me to my collection detail. Or so I think…

While I am scurrying around the yard trying to decide how a twig could have character, gather leaves with just the right subtleness of color and filter through the hundreds of pine cones, unbeknownst to me Mama is busy in the house with her own ‘gatherings’. Buttons, glitter, glue, tape, sequins, loose costume jewels, scraps of fabric, old corsage pins, pieces of ribbon and rick rack, couple of tiny bells from old cat collars and anything else she deems decorative finds their place in an old shoe box. Once enough items are gathered she returns to the kitchen and sets the box on the table.

Upon completing my task, I skip across the yard back to the house and set the bucket down at the kitchen door. Mama motions me toward the table. She opens the shoe box and places all of the items in neat little piles. What happens next totally blows me away and leads to the decision she is the most creative mom, possibly person, in the world! The magic begins…

The shoebox becomes the foundation covered with one of the colorful pieces of fabric. With pins and folds she fastens the cloth securely to the box. Buttons, sequins, jewels, ribbon and rick rack are glued or sewn on around the sides adding dimension and style. The two tiny bells are placed in the center of a bow anchored at one corner.

“Now, hand me the bucket.” Several twigs, a couple of handfuls of leaves and about a half dozen pine cones are carefully selected from those collected in the bucket. Mama separates the items and asks me what I think of those she has chosen.

“Look at each twig not as a stick but as a symbol. Does it form an arc like a crescent moon? Does it contain tiny branches that could be thought of as arms? Are any spurs or scars on the twig?” With that being said, I understand what she means by looking for twigs with character. A few are hand picked and laid aside with care to protect their fragility.

“Let’s see what kind of leaves you found,” she continues. “Place all of the leaves in a pile and gently use your fingers as a rake. Sweep through the leaves until one strikes your attention, set it aside. Continue with another and another, setting each aside one-by-one until you have at least a dozen leaves. I’m going to pour us a glass of milk and when I return we will look at the leaves you have chosen.”

Mama returns to the table not only with an ice cold glass of milk but a small platter of her most delicious chocolate chip cookies. We each take one, dip it in the milk and take a big bite. We are lucky we can even swallow because of our smiling and giggling. “Now,” she softly says. “Let’s see the leaves you have sorted according to your thoughts. I want you to tell me what you sense in each one.”

I daintily pick up a leaf and begin to study its delicate features. Tiny veins run up and out with each vein branching into more veins. I look at a leaf like I have never seen one before this day. I smell it, run my fingers across its surface and take in every ounce of color that still remains. “Mama, look! These two match; they have the same orange spot on them. Look at this one, it is half brown and half tan. And, here are three, each with three colors! Two others are as golden as the sun and another has freckles. Mama, this one has a touch of red, is it bleeding?”

“No, sweetie” Mama laughs. “Each has its own distinct markings and color because it is the autumn season. You have done a good job, Kitten. Hand me the bucket, time to move on to the pine cones. I see you have brought different sizes, some long and thin, some squatty.”

“Squatty?” I laugh. “What a silly word. You mean short, don’t you?”

“Okay, some long and some short,” replies Mama.

“Squatty!” I laugh out loud. “I like that word. It’s funny.”

“Then, hand me three squatty cones and four of the elongated, you know long cones. Choose the glitter you want. There is some gold, silver and blue.” As I reach for the glitter, Mama calls out, “And, don’t forget the glue. Grab the tape, too.”

We glue, glitter, sequin and jewel the pine cones, thread leaves onto the twigs being ever so cautious not to tear a single one, dab each with a touch of glue and dust them all with a little ‘snow’. Mama arranges them on top of the covered box and when finished, it looks like a forest out of fairyland.

I will never forget that day. The day I learned about autumn and how much beauty can be found in twigs, leaves and pine cones. Thank you, Mama, for your creative mind and teaching me beauty can be found in the most unexpected places if you will only use your imagination and be creative. I love you!

Mossie

Anita Louise Lee
Oct. 10, 1919 – Dec. 14, 2010

A Short Story by Sharla Lee Shults ©2013
(Not to be reproduced without permission of the author.)

9 Comments »

First Day of Fall 2013

Animated Fall scraps, glitter graphics, Autumn myspace commentsGoodLightscraps.com

Last remnants of summer will soon be only memories for the autumnal equinox is upon us today. At precisely 4:44 PM EDT, Sunday, September 22, 2013 the beginning of fall graces the Northern Hemisphere while spring bursts forth in the Southern Hemisphere.

Are you ready for this?

 AutumnSunRead MORE @Awakenings!

AutumnSwing

AutumnGirls

Catch the Falling Leaves

If you ask me about autumn…


It is a graceful ballerina
Whirling and twirling across the ground—

The essence of a former life
Wherever nature’s spirits abound

 It is one last fling before winter’s sleep
Flitting and flaunting vivid hues of gold—
Dramatic, enchanting, ah-h-h breathtaking
Awe-inspiring colors to behold

 It is a season of predestined change
In a distinctive way nature acknowledges—
Random yellows, rusty oranges, bold reds
Exciting the soul through emblazon images

 It is nature in action
Intensely, magically changing—
Summer’s palette transforming
As leaves gently fall off the trees

 It is multicolored leaves blowing in the wind
Like the wild strumming of a fiddle—
The crux of fun for someone to rack in a pile
Then jump right smack dab in the middle

 Run, jump, catch the falling leaves
As they flutter round and round
Stuff them in your pockets
For the child in you is found

©2013 catnipoflife©2013 catnipoflife
Sharla Lee Shults

“How beautifully leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days.”

                                                —John Burroughs (American Naturalist and Essayist, 1837–1921)

Animated Fall scraps, glitter graphics, Autumn myspace comments
GoodLightscraps.com

16 Comments »

Moving Autumn

Photo Credit: Garden Stop Sign – Rosanne Jordan

STOP! Take a few moments to just sit back, relax and enjoy the Piano Instrumental – Moving Autumn

soothing clear waters
wind magically
amid chatoyant
gems of autumn

Thanks goes to Peggy Strack @Kick Back Moments for sharing this great video on her blog. Peggy is the author of A Stop in the Park, which is quickly gathering nothing but 5-star reviews. After reading her book, I have decided while it does encompass ‘a stop in the park’ it is definitely ‘a stop in the heart’! Highly recommended good reading!

29 Comments »

Autumn Gold

A touch of impromptu catnip from a morning drive. . .

Autumn

Photo Credit: Sharla Shults

your leaves shalt not wither

before illuminating my soul

~catnipoflife

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”
 ~George Eliot

22 Comments »

Autumn Leaves

stockfreeimages.com

With a new school year beginning comes many changes in lives and schedules. For those that take vacations or have time off during the summer, the hours and/or days of relaxation come to an end. But, with the ending of summer comes the changing of seasons and anticipation of crisp, cool mornings with the bursting forth of bright oranges, reds and yellows as leaves intensify in brilliance within their own change. Within this anticipation is yet another eager time of awaiting. This usually occurrs after the kids are already settled in their new school environment but the thoughts begin much, much earlier. The change in color announces the coming of falling leaves.

With the falling leaves comes the time for the yard rake. While no one probably LIKES to rake leaves, there is the envelopment of a very special atmosphere. As the rake moves back and forth in rhythmic motion, leaves cling to its ‘fingers’ before being deposited in a pile while children laugh and giggle in anticipation of what’s coming next.

All it takes is a few seconds to say, “Ready, set, go!” for each child to jump right smack dab in the middle!

As your child becomes acclimated to his/her new school year, plant the seed of anticipation. If yours is an area of few or no trees, look around for your ‘pile of leaves’ – whatever brings on the smiles, laughter and giggles that will be long remembered and treasured.

Ever thought about an autumn leaf party?

*****

Catch the Falling Leaves

If you ask me about Autumn
It is leaves dancing across the ground—
The essence of a former life
Wherever nature’s spirit abounds

It is one last fling before winter’s sleep
Flitting and flaunting vivid hues of gold—
Dramatic, enchanting, ah-h-h breathtaking
Awe-inspiring colors to behold

It is a season of predestined change
In a distinctive way nature acknowledges—
Random yellows, rusty oranges, bold reds
Exciting the soul through emblazon images

It is nature in action
Intensely, magically changing—
Summer’s palette transforming
As leaves gently fall or left dangling

It is multicolored leaves blowing in the wind
Like the wild strumming of a fiddle—
The crux of fun for someone to rack in a pile
Then jump right smack dab in the middle

Run, jump, catch the falling leaves
As they flutter round and round
Stuff them in your pockets
For the child in you is found

catniplogosm1
©2012
catnipoflife

 “How beautifully leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days.”
—John Burroughs (American Naturalist and Essayist, 1837–1921)

26 Comments »

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