Before November and all the leaves leave us, here is some interplay of light, color, and patterns from this past month.
When I walk the labyrinth at Pathways, each time the same winding path takes me in to the center and out again. But each time is a new experience, shaped by weather and season. On this mid-October day, milkweed provided a reoccurring theme. Early on I saw seeds packed tightly together. As the morning warmed, the pods opened and seeds were picked up by the breeze, blowing across my pathway, shimmering with light, and getting caught in grasses and other dried plants.
Just as the leaves were starting to change, I hosted a retreat morning at Pathways Retreat Center. There was time to walk the labyrinth in its early fall garb -- a few dried grasses and plants, some bright greens and reds, and the textured rock at the center. It's a delight to look back at this brilliantly sunny day on a very wet, gray November afternoon.
One last round from our Canmore visit, from the morning when a herd of elk strolled through the back yard. And a few more views of the mountains, because those of us living in flat Indiana need a good dose of those. The last photo is from our visit in 2016, an early morning promenade that we witnessed as we were leaving. This is elk country!
Not our backyard in Goshen, I hasten to add, just in case you weren't sure. These are from the hill behind the condo in Canmore, with the Three Sisters off to the east. And some sights from the pine woods, and a view off to the west. More rocks and trees!
Last week we were able to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving with John's family in Red Deer, Alberta. It was snowing/sleeting when we left for the mountains the next morning, and it looked like it wanted to do some more when we got to Canmore, just outside Banff. The clouds blew on through, though, and later we were able to take a walk on one of the paths behind the condo and enjoy the sunshine and the mountains. Here's a familiar mix of rocks, near and far, and trees -- aspen and pine. We missed the peak of color, but it was still quite lovely.
I have a backlog of photos to post. . .they will appear here bit by bit. This set is from last month's trip with one sister to visit the other sister. We had beautifully cool weather for summer in North Carolina and took the opportunity for an outing in William B Umstead State Park, near Raleigh. It's a different sort of woods then I am used to in northern Indiana.
Lunch time, looking out over the view below. We also saw the first of many inch-long hoppy toads along our trail. Can you spot some in the last two photos? I am intrigued by the differences in coloration, each appropriate for the setting we saw them in.
A few more photos from the end of April/beginning of May, illustrating why we so often link pastel colors with spring. Pink, purple, light green, yellow. . . and in the woods, the green washes its way up to the topmost branches, and a blue sky.
Some cultures name their months by the plants that are in full bloom at that time. Here's Daffodil Moon, with photos from early mornings in late April/early May at Pathways Retreat Center, with an abundance of daffodils of all kinds in bloom in the small labyrinth. And the sunburst yellow of a few dandelions.
Spring has arrived in northern Indiana. But then, it has been arriving for some time. This post goes back in time, to early April, and the days of brown woods (but mossy paths) and the first crocus and windflowers. By the end of that week, the green gauze of leaves opening was washing through the woods.
"Instructions for living a life:
Tell about it."
Mary Oliver in "Sometimes"
I've taken on a prayer practice of looking for the moments of light in each day, whether actual or metaphorical, and then writing or posting photos of what I find.