I always thought California was completely robbed of the quintessential beauty of fall. But during the month of October I took an online photo class called "Picture Fall" with Tracey Clark and it changed my mind. For the first time I can ever remember, I was really able to see and appreciate the beauty of the mild and subtle changes. Leaves turned from green to shades of gold and red and orange. I watched as they fell to the ground, strewn about in gutters and sidewalks, and I could imagine the crunch they make if I walked or driven on. I watched walls of dark green ivy slowly turn to a beautiful red and eventually brown. The trees became bare, their branches naked and exposed to the new chill in the air. Rain fell and new bright green grass and clover appeared on the ground. The hair on my arms stood on end as I began to spot the season's 8-legged creatures, yet I found myself getting closer to them than ever before to capture the beauty of their webs with my camera. Fall has always been my favorite season. Yet I feel the combination of my camera, creativity, and newfound passion for capturing beauty through my lens has allowed me to appreciate the season in a completely eye-opening way. Some of these photos are repeats I posted along the way, but I wanted to post my favorites now that the class is over.
For this week's Friday Five I want to include 5 of my interpretations of favorite ideas and thoughts from Tracey Clark's (the teacher of the class) daily emails. Tracey's point of view was very inspiring, encouraging me to relate some of the elements of the season to my own life.
Did you know that the word harvest comes from old English hærfest which meant Autumn? Throughout history, fall represents the time in which to celebrate and reap the benefits of the hard work through the year. This is the perfect opportunity to take the time to celebrate our own personal harvests by seeking out comfort. Find that spot in your home, that food, that person, that activity, or whatever it is that makes you feel comfortable and happy. Reflect on all your hard work-at your job, school, at home, for your family, etc. and bask in the thought that all your hard work is for a purpose. Allow yourself to celebrate and maybe even indulge. After all, 'tis the season of Halloween candy and Thanksgiving feasts!
2 ::Beauty in Starkness::
Fall arrives and nature begins its process of retreat. Colors change then fade and eventually diminish, leaves and petals fall, things begin to die, and stems and branches are left bare. It's easy to find beauty in seasons filled with blooms and vibrant colors, but fall offers less obvious forms of beauty. Looking closely, noticing and discovering something that most people would overlook was an unexpected way of appreciating what Fall has to offer.
The trees shed their leaves and the flowers lose their lives in preparation of gaining a new luster and beauty in Spring. So why not mimic nature's process and shed those lackluster, jaded, and tired extensions of ourselves in preparation of the new growth that lay ahead in the seasons to come. The beginning of the year is typically used as a jumping off point for starting fresh, but why not now? Just as the trees and flowers will welcome new growth, starting now will allow you to welcome change once the time comes. But remember, nature moves at its own pace, and you too need not feel rushed.
The summer fruits have disappeared, but Fall brings its own bounty...pumpkins, squash, pomegranates, and more. Each season can be appreciated for the gifts they give. For me, among other things, summer is warm weather, stone fruits, vacations, and carefree attitudes. Spring is blooming flowers, color, and regrowth. Winter is cold weather, warm clothes, holidays, and family time. Appreciating each season for its gifts and uniqueness can inspire us to do the same in our lives...give thanks for the little gifts that make us happy and all the little things that make us special and unique.
6 ::Fun & Fantasy::
It seems as we get older we sometimes forget to have fun, becoming wrapped up in the seriousness of life. Kids are usually so carefree, happy-go-lucky, imaginative and Halloween is such a good way to bring that back to life. While we may be too old to go knocking on doors for candy, kids and adults of all ages still don costumes, pretending to be a completely different person, make-believe character, animal or inanimate object. The holiday is a great reminder to just remember what it feels like to be a kid, and know that it is good for us to have fun and be more carefree. After all...laughter IS the best medicine, right?
Happy Friday to everyone! I hope that during this fall season you are able to enjoy the beauty, savor the moment, take some time out for yourself, prepare for positive changes, give thanks, and of course, have fun!