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So much sweetness.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve talked about fall. I’ve come to see what a beautiful metaphor it is for shedding all the things not serving a purpose any longer. The leaves fall, releasing all that needs to be pruned away. And life follows suit.

I understand that now.

This year has been a series of endings. To outmoded ways of thinking, to worn out routines, to almost everything that has become familiar, including some relationships. This year has offered up a tough and often confusing mix of situations, with one just coming to a conclusion.

So much sweetness.  

This is what keeps playing in my head, like the chorus of a song with an unforgettable hook.

Here’s the beautiful thing. Whenever I thought I’ve been alone, completely adrift and on my own, I’ve been met with support. At times it was almost as if people fell out of bushes to give me messages of encouragement. Grace, somehow, in the sweetest of ways, has always been at my side. For this, I feel humbled and grateful.

Trust. This is what I’ve learned.

Trust in the unexpected and the unknown. Trust people—even, perhaps especially, people you never imagined—will stand in front of you with offerings of friendship and love. Trust, and the universe will rise up to catch you when you stumble, to push you when you think you cannot get up, to hold your hand when you are in need tenderness.

So much sweetness. 

That gives me faith in a future full of things that will serve me well.

One day I came out of the subway and was greeted by this sidewalk chalk inspiration. Signs are everywhere.

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xo, with goodness and grace.

 

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This past weekend, an event called Open House New York gave access to a multitude of buildings across the city, including one right in my neighborhood. I look at the Ford Foundation every day, quite literally. I see it and wonder two things: what do people do in there, and what does it look like?

According to their website, the foundation’s goals are to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement.

Which I translate to mean—I’m seriously underachieving.

As I wandered around the 11th floor of the building, admiring the architecture and beautiful views of the East River, I was surprised to also see artwork from Nelson Mandela. I hadn’t known he was an artist. (How often I am surprised by what I don’t know. Isn’t that a beautiful thing, to still have so much to learn?)

Called The Struggle Series, the artwork is a study of his hands.

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What’s interesting is as I stood looking over these works, I felt a deep connection to each one.  Though they tell the tale of his life— struggle, imprisonment, freedom, unity, future—I understood how each was applicable to stages in all of our lives.

This is the essence of art; it binds us together with a common ground. We may not be literally imprisoned, but so many things can hold us captive.

These were my two favorites:

Freedom.

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Have I mentioned freedom is my word of the year? Let go of what no longer serves you.

And, future.

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The future holds promise.  As Mandela writes, “…now we look to the future, knowing that even if age makes us wiser guides, it is the youth that reminds us of love, of trust and of the value of life.”

Such a beautiful sentiment.

xo, with goodness and grace.

 

And now, a short post to completely (okay, kinda sorta) contradict parts of my last post.

I was walking back to the office after my usual afternoon walk when I noticed the leaves in the neighborhood had suddenly begun their seasonal change. I stood under one tree and looked up. The sun kept playing in between the branches, its light making me feel as if I were under a blanket of illuminated gold.

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And for a moment, I fell for fall.

Just a moment. 🙂

xo, with goodness and grace.

How many years, in October, like clockwork, can a person proclaim she doesn’t like fall?

I know, I know. You’re going to ask me why. Why have I not fallen in love with your favorite season? You’re going to tell me how much you love Pumpkin Spice Lattes (nope, don’t like them), and chilly mornings (nope, not ready for them), and how you cannot wait for the snow that comes after autumn (nope, nope, and nope). I get it. You love fall.

If I could have two springs and two summers a year, I would be a happy girl.

There have been years where I did my best to embrace the change of season, where I allowed myself to be in awe of the beauty of trees ready to let go and shed their layers. But this year the chill came much too soon and the light began to fade much too early.

I feel the change in the air. I know it has arrived, and I am not ready.

I’m working on this.

But then I kept seeing this in my social media feeds.

 

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And this changed everything.

It’s a reminder of my mantra this year. Let go of what no longer serves you.

And so I do.  Just like the trees.

xo, with goodness and grace.

 

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