Fall Leaf Collecting: Relaxation and Inspiration

 Sometimes the words just don’t come. I meditate through my yoga routine, I steam in the shower trying to clear my head; but my thoughts are too clogged with distractions. What to do? Thankfully, I have two dogs who recognized I needed to get out and refresh my mind. One went and sat obediently by the closet door, showing me where her leash is. The other kept nudging me, whimpering and begging me to stop being so foolish and just go outside. It was a gray November day, but surprisingly warm for the lack of sun; so I put on my coat and we headed out. Just watching them sniff and run through the leaves cheered my thoughts, and before I knew it their interest in fallen foliage had attracted me as well. I slowed my pace, stopping to look at the varying shapes and colors, observing the hints of moss peeking through the layers of mulch. The tiny shrubs valiantly clung to their leaves, in unusual shades and patterns. Normally I would have zipped by them all, trying to get a power walk in while the dogs ran around; but today, they also slowed down, taking time to turn over logs and dig through beds of leaves for scents of deer or rabbits. I picked up two leaves to admire the differences in size and shape, and almost immediately I began collecting them.

  Did you ever notice how many different shapes and sizes Oak leaves come in?

 Or how many shades of brown? Dark, light, golden, rust, tawny and olive are just a few versions I found.

These are all in yellowish tones.

  And what about red? Burgundy, orange, magenta, peach and even some I might classify as pink. Who knew?

I think these qualify as shades of black.

  And then there are these leaves, which couldn’t make up their minds. One even caught my eye as it had almost every color of the rainbow on it. It was laying off to the side of the trail, under some dried grasses. I would never have noticed it if I was not already alert to leaf watching.

  Finally, there are the stubborn ones. The ones who fight against the bitter reality that winter is coming, the days are getting too short to produce chlorophyll and soon it will be very cold. Kudos to them!

So with a bag full of leaves, I headed home and spent  an hour arranging them in various snapshots and editing them for today’s post. Leaf collecting turned out to be a great way to clear my mind and be creative. I advise everyone to step out of their busy routines and retreat to some simple, physical activity. This is a stressful time of year and we all need to find a way to relax.

I just want to thank my wonderful dogs for reminding me of that and for taking me out for walks every day.



9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. stmarco7
    Nov 17, 2011 @ 11:54:23

    Yay to Ebony and Cooper for getting you out on what sounds like a wonderful and meditative walk! So amazing to see what is all around us.



  2. themiddlegeneration
    Nov 17, 2011 @ 12:04:43

    I’m sure Xai Xai reminds you to get out and take a break every day too. And I know what beautiful scenery you have to take in. That towering Olympic Peninsula keeps all our problems in scale.



  3. moodychick
    Nov 17, 2011 @ 13:41:26

    Thanks for your comment on my post. It wasn’t until you said that, stepping out into the woods, that I connected the dots to having done that and being able to write what I did last night. I had two days of long, leisurely walks with my dog and daughter and it really just rejuvenates the soul doesn’t it? Thanks for the reminder. Today will be a snowy jaunt for us 🙂



  4. themiddlegeneration
    Nov 17, 2011 @ 13:52:58

    I walked again today. No snow, but I had to bundle up. They say cold air gets the juices flowing, too. It seemed to work for me. I hope you find inspiration on yours. What’s not awesome about snowflakes?



  5. Carol
    Nov 18, 2011 @ 11:09:55

    I have not been doing enough walking this year. For some reason, I’ve felt a need to hole up in the house and just open the door to let the dogs out and back in. This morning it’s snowing – perhaps we’ll go for a walk in the snow. It would do us good.



  6. themiddlegeneration
    Nov 18, 2011 @ 12:41:06

    We had the pleasure of a few snow flurries this morning, but I am happy to say it should be back in the 50’s for the weekend. Enjoy the snow. I hope to not deal with it until at least December.



  7. straightforwardcoaching
    Nov 19, 2011 @ 04:16:44

    Hi! Thanks for the comments on my blog – they’ve let me to your wonderfully reflective blog! I love how really focussing in on things like leaves (things that would normally be in the background of our lives) can produce a fabulous sense of awe at the intricacy of our world. Thanks for the pics too!



    • themiddlegeneration
      Nov 19, 2011 @ 09:11:50

      I think you noticed the special traits of the brown leaves in one of your posts. The things you don’t observe unless you really take the time. Leaf collecting was a great way to slow down and destress in this hectic time of year!



  8. Looking Out The Window
    Nov 19, 2011 @ 11:06:07

    This post was by far my favorite. As a Midwestern girl, I despartely miss fall in the hardwoods, now living in the high mountains. Though I love it, no place does fall like a hardwood forest….the colors….the smells….the leaves…..the sounds. Thanks for your post it brought back many memories.



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