Tomorrow is the first day of fall. I’m always a little sad to see summer go, but fall is so beautiful. The colors, the smells, the nip in the air, the fire in the fireplace--there’s so much to love about this new season.
It was a sunny, warm fall day. The late-afternoon sun was slanting through the trees in our front yard. My daughter, who was eight at the time, and I had been walking our dog.
As we went into the house, I grabbed some old kitchen shears and a basket. “I want to show you something.”
"Are we going to pick flowers?" my daughter asked.
“Yes. Come with me.”
We trudged through curly, crunchy leaves under the maple and dogwoods toward the corner of our property. Because the front yard is so wide and the driveway is on one end, we don’t often see the other end unless we make a point to walk or drive past it.
A gigantic camellia tree sits on that corner of our property. I tend to forget it’s there until it blooms in late winter and early fall.
As we approached the tree, we saw that the camellia was covered with blooms and just-opening buds. Dark green, waxy leaves highlighted the delicate white flowers with tinges of pink on the petals.
“Wow, Mom,” she said. “That’s a lot of flowers." Then she hopped away on one foot.
“Wait! Help me pick some out,” I said.
The first few we chose fell apart, their petals dropping to the ground, so we picked some buds that would be ready in a day or two. Carefully, we carried them inside and floated them in a shallow glass pie plate. The pretty color and delicate petals made me think of spring rather than fall.
Since then, there have been some fall seasons when I didn’t pay much attention to the camellia. Life was busy, the days zipped by, and the petals fell to the ground.
If I could go back in time, every fall I would stop what I was doing and go outside to cut some camellias. I would have her join me, and I’d take more photos of her with the flowers in her hand, the sun on her hair.
But rather than looking back, I’m looking forward to this fall. New seasons of the year are a great time to begin a tradition or bring back a forgotten one. To add more beauty to your life.
It could be simple things such as cutting flowers or greenery to bring inside; going to a pumpkin farm or corn maze; or sitting outside on a chilly, moonlit night, drinking something hot, listening to your favorite music.
In the same way, a new season of life can also be a good time to do something new, like start a new career, travel to a new destination, take a class, or pursue a hobby.
What new things would you like to do this season? I’d love to hear. Leave me a comment below, and let’s encourage each other to do them.
Meanwhile, I’ll be cutting some camellias.