One of the delights of my week is our customary Saturday morning outing to Goshen's farmer's market. Here's last Saturday morning -- arriving at sunrise, getting our breakfast at Rachel's Bakery (coffee, and a shared Southern French frittata and pumpkin stollen French bread), and then heading out into the market, enjoying the visual delights of the bounty on display. Brussels sprouts, potatoes, broccoli, bok choy, carrots, kale, apples, eggs...we left with overflowing bags, and haven't finished it all yet, despite extra folks around to celebrate the week with us. And a final photo to commemorate the results of trips like this one -- a colorful bowl of duck soup, chockful of market veggies from the week before -- a soup that my tongue and tummy enjoyed as much as my eyes.
It's November. The wind is cold. This week when I went walking, I had no desire to linger and my camera stayed in my coat pocket, even as I enjoyed the shifting light and shadow on the clouds overhead.
So here is a rather random collection of things that caught my eye the week before. Above, a plant candidate for the Red Hat Society who apparently misheard the poem Warning by Jenny Joseph ("When I am an old woman I shall wear purple/ With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.").
A Bonbon Buttercup squash, pretending to be an acorn squash.
At the Calendar Garden, I was admiring the pink and green lacy-ness of the decorative kale, when I realized that some of the lacy-ness, and some of the green-ness, was the result of bright green cabbage caterpillars, chomping away for all they were worth.
And if I hadn't slowed down and discovered the cabbage caterpillars, I wouldn't have noticed the flower beside the kale, with its spotted confetti clown suit, since it was much smaller, and blended in. I'm not sure what it is -- perhaps some of you can tell me.
Two nights of hard frost earlier this week, with little wind, and the following day the leaves dropped, straight down, creating round carpets under each tree, at least until the wind picked up.
A walk along the millrace was grays and browns, instead of last week's sun-filled golds, but there were still intriguing reflections to be seen. And with most of the leaves gone, there were other sights -- stem scars, grape vine knots, and black walnuts in odd places.
One early morning last week I walked into my spiritual direction room, ready to spend some time working on a retreat with the theme Tending the Fire. The sun was barely up and the room was shadowy, but the view out the window made me pause in delight. Overnight the leaves on the neighbor's tulip poplar tree had turned golden.
It wasn't hard to find fiery fall light this past week, filling the leaves with glory. For some, even their veins seemed full of fire.
Saturday began as one of those golden fall days, full of sunlight and wind, with gold leaves on the maple trees along 8th Street, twirling through the air, scuttling across the roads, and resting in drifts by my door.
When I drove down to the Calendar Garden in the afternoon, I discovered that out in the open countryside the trees were pretty well bare already. It was quieter in the garden, but as I strolled through the spring quarter, I kept spotting the shimmer of milkweed seeds, like tiny white fireworks, scattered amidst the other plants. They had blown a ways, but I finally found their origin -- a candelabra of tall, narrow milkweed pods.
Gray sky overhead, ebony water in the millrace, and muted bronzes, golds, reds, browns and grays all around, with the still water catching and holding reflections of the branches on the shore this November afternoon. And in a few spots, water and reeds holding the leaves themselves.
"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.