One of life’s gentler pursuits

Time is all we have.  And how we choose to spend that time, makes up our entire life.  There really isn’t anything else.

I woke early – dawn was breaking – the sun rising higher in the sky.  Quietly, so as not to disturb, I dressed in windproof coat and walking shoes – the outdoors called – I needed to be out in the chill air of a bright morning – an autumnal morning.

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I was alone walking the road – loving the quiet except for the wind rustling through the trees – a magical time of day when nothing stirs.  Cows standing like statues in the fields – swallows gathering on the wires, preening and chattering amongst themselves. 

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The silence broken by two cyclists whirring past – lycra clad -  feet pumping furiously on the pedals – then a jogger puffs by cheeks rosy from exertion, with neon trainers and requisite water bottle in hand – we exchange ‘good mornings’ as we pass.

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I stop to take in the views having not walked this road all summer – the grass is parched after a dry spell – the trees still in full leaf – bindweed drapes itself  over the hedgerows it ghostly white flowers opening in the sun – hawthorn berries ripening and glistening red.

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I turn and re-trace my steps, homeward bound for breakfast – hot coffee and buttered toast – later I will drive to the next village to shop for weekend treats and roast chicken dinners. I see the old man – his routine never changing - shopping for groceries and the library to change his books – we smile at one another – strangers but familiar at the same time.

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And so the weekend rolls on – thinking of plans for the day – gardening to be sure – as I have been beavering away indoors the garden has suffered neglect – ashamed of itself – today I will spruce you up a little, make you presentable once more – I promise.

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‘Til next time, remember ~

“Use what you have, use what the world gives you. Use the first day of fall: bright flame before winter's deadness; harvest; orange, gold, amber; cool nights and the smell of fire. Our tree-lined streets are set ablaze, our kitchens filled with the smells of nostalgia: apples bubbling into sauce, roasting squash, cinnamon, nutmeg, cider, warmth itself. The leaves as they spark into wild colour just before they die are the world's oldest performance art, and everything we see is celebrating one last violently hued hurrah before the black and white silence of winter.”

Shauna Niequist

Comments

  1. What a beautiful landscape......a great place to spend time with God! Blessings~~~Roxie

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    1. We are so lucky to live here in the middle of rolling hills - ever changing with the seasons.

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  2. Yes, lovely; but hasn't it all arrived a little too soon?

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    1. Yes - at least a month early I would say.

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  3. I am up before the sun this morning, so I don't know what sort of day we will have. It was cloudy, damp, and muggy yesterday, sure signs that fall will arrive earlier the usual. I have always wanted to see The English countryside in the spring, to go to Grasmere to see Wordworth's daffodils, but I am thinking that as your photos show, the English countryside must be ablaze with color in autum. Ow that would be time well spent.

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    1. The autumn feeling has arrived early this year but the trees are still green as yet - it certainly gets more colourful as the season moves on.

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  4. What a wonderful early morning walk. There is something very special about being out early before everyone else isn't there. Great pictures too.

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    1. Yes - it doesn't happen very often but sometimes the effort is worth it.

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  5. Beautifully written Elaine.
    There's no denying autumn now. It's just too early for me too.

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    1. Thanks Jessica. It seems to have come right in the middle of summer doesn't it - hopefully we may get a late summer to enjoy.

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  6. Lovely post, Elaine. Nothing quite like those early morning walks, when the day has barely started, to us in touch with ourselves and with nature. xxx

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    1. I have to say it was very pleasurable Isabelle

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  7. A really delightful post and lovely pictures. Flighty xx

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    1. Thanks Flighty glad you enjoyed it.

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  8. I like the new look of your blog! And the hints of Autumn were beautifully told! I am now watching the thermometer rise through the 90's here in Savannah. Autumn is a distant memory of my birthplace and all the years after, til now!! But your well chosen words bring it all back!

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    1. Thanks Jayne. This early autumn we are having is a little chilly - I so envy you your warmer temperature. We are even lighting the fire in the evenings!

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    1. Thanks Sue. It's easy to take good photos when everything was looking so beautiful.

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  10. What a beautiful morning. What a beautiful post. Autumn in August ... I do hope summer may yet pop back for a bit though.

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    1. So do I Annie - it feels like we have been short-changed this year.

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  11. Your first quote spoke to me. I was up late so everything through the day will be late, watering, eating, shopping but, late or not, I resolve to use the time well.

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    1. I slept in the following morning and the whole day was out of joint so to speak.

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  12. Awwwww, I loved this, how lovely to rise at dawn and be a part of nature, the pics are very beautiful as is the writing. It tempts me to get up very early and watch the world waking. Yes we do all have to decide how to spend our time, what lovely quotes. A most enjoyable post.xxx

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    1. Now and then it does you good to see the world from a different perspective doesn't it. I really should do it more often.

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  13. Summer is passing so quickly, I don't remember the harvest ever being in so early before.
    When I get up early and go out, I always think that I should do it more often, such a wonderful time of day. Sadly the instinct is only present occasionally.

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    1. That's how I feel Rosemary alas it's sometimes hard to rouse myself from sleep however much I would like to be up and about.

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  14. I adore the early morning sunlight and the slight cold dampness in the air. Autumn is creeping nearer. A new season to enjoy.

    Jean x

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    1. If it's bright and sunny autumn is wonderful - it's the damp, grey, dreary days I don't look forward to.

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  15. Your surroundings are so pretty!

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    1. I appreciate where we live every day - to be surrounded with such soft beauty is a delight in every season.

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  16. The country around you is so beautiful Elaine! And your writing is magical paired with your photos! I really connected with that piece from Shauna Niequist.....it is so very true and I find great comfort in the things she mentioned to embrace. Have you ever read the book Seasonal Home??? It is a great book and talks about how important it is to bring the seasons into your home. I hope you have a lovely weekend sprucing up the garden! We have a big mud pit out back as we wait for the construction to finish up! Cheers friend! Nicole xoxo

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    1. I looked up the Seasonal Home it seems it is only available in the USA - I have had trouble ordering books that have to be shipped so I will wait till it is available in the UK. I have had a very busy weekend in the garden - the weather has been perfect.

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  17. I love this time of year and the colour tones in your pictures have caught it so well!
    But as someone else said above, autumn has come upon us rather suddenly. We had glorious, hot summer weather on holiday in England and Wales but as soon as we returned home two weeks ago it felt what my old Lincolnshire mother-in-law used to call "back-endish".
    Don't you find this time of year gives you a creative urge? I always put it down to going back to school in September and suddenly craving freedom of spirit!
    All the best :)

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    1. I would say it is a month early wouldn't you. I would quite have liked a longer summer - maybe it will return hopefully. As a child I used to dread September coming - those three words back to school used to send shivers down my spine - I loved the freedom of the summer holidays, having adventures that only a child can have. Sweet memories.

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  18. A beautiful place to visit for sure! xx

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  19. What an enchanting post. I especially love the picture of the swallows on the wire with that beautiful late summer light. We've been out watching them today, making the most of them before they depart. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment, I'm happy to have found yours. CJ xx

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    1. Thanks CJ very kind of you to say so. We don't seem to have as many swallows this year and as they start collecting on the wires I begin to dread the day they will no longer be with us.

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  20. What a fabulous way to be able to start the day Elaine. I'm most envious. I'm refusing to believe that we've seen the last of summer!

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    1. I don't do it very often but when I do I always wonder why I don't do it more - too fond of my bed is the answer.

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  21. A lovely post. Still chilly here although signs of spring - I notice the buds on my wisteria among other things.

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    1. Thanks Susan. The weather has turned dramatically here - and not for the better, the vagaries of the English weather never fail to surprise me.

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  22. Wonderful posting, Elaine. My dear friend Ana and I try to go for long walks with our cameras as often as we can, but she is now a grandmother and has to look after her granddaughter three times a week. We use to walk for three hours now it's an hour and half. I too write, paint and love to grow things. I don't know about you, but I find there isn't enough hours in the day for me.

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    1. Thank you Paula. I agree, there are so many things I want to do in a day that it is hard to know where to start and which to choose.

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  23. What a beautiful place to walk Elaine.
    I love walking when it is just me and my dog........
    The scenery is stunning and so different to where I live. One of the joys of blogging is seeing other parts of the country.

    I am an early riser and tend to walk when the rest of the world sleeps.....tks for sharing and hope you enjoyed the roast chicken............

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    1. I don't walk as much as I used to now that we don't have a dog in the family - winter is when I really get out and about because the garden needs me less. The countryside is beautiful round here with plenty of photo opportunities to take advantage of. And yes the roast chicken was excellent.

      As I write the rain is pounding on the windows it has been a dreadful day, the rain just hasn't stopped - which makes me even happier that I spent all day Sunday in the garden - making hay whilst the sun shone so to speak.

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  24. Elaine, so glad you took your camera along on this walk. Just beautiful.

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    1. Never leave home without the camera is my motto - you just never know what you may find to photograph.

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  25. That is so beautiful....and it's so much further along then us.

    Take your heart, and your camera on your walks, along with your memory. It's like living in your moment when you write like this.

    Beautiful.

    Jen

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  26. Ah Dear Elaine - beautiful pictures...looks like autumn has come sooner to your part of the world than mine. By this week though we are seeing signs. It won't be long til I am snuggling into warmer pjs and slippers. Enjoy those lovely days that remain. Have a great week.

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    1. Thanks Debbie - it was a beautiful day - not so lovely today though - it hasn't stopped raining all day.

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  27. Your words and pictures are very evocative Elaine. Here the days have turned hot and the summer's progress toward fall seems halted. Enjoy it while you can, I tell myself!

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    1. Oh yes you must - because when it is gone you will wonder where it went and what you did with it.

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  28. : ) lovely story of your morning - really enjoyed what you shared. sounds like a lovely start to the day!

    - Kif
    http://flourishinggrace.blogspot.ca

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    1. Thanks Kif - glad you enjoyed your visit.

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