A Peaceful Respite from Politics


As Election Day grows closer and the negative attacks get uglier, it is time to take a brief respite from my tv and internet.

My husband and I recently purchased 2 13 ft kayaks and have been enjoying paddling on some local ponds and streams.

It seemed like a perfect time for a mini getaway- especially during this high peak foliage season.


We found a quiet creek to explore where we could smoothly glide along, watching ducks, herons and the occasional turtle.


The beautiful blue sky was a perfect contrast to the colorful leaves; and the sounds of the cicadas and woodpeckers

reminded us that there are better things to listen to than political ads.




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.