Fading Colors

 

As I look out my windows, I see the fading colors in our garden spots.

I’m not ready. You read that right—I’m not ready. 

coneflowers, flowers, fading colors, fading
Image by Manfred Antranias Zimmer from Pixabay

The spring and summer blooms have kept my spirits high as I glanced from a window or stepped to our back deck. And on those days we’ve headed out in the car to whatever appointment I had, there was the front garden by our drive. Bright coneflowers, cosmos, and marigolds, and early on the blossoms of strawberries.

But it is only proper that with the season winding down and shadows growing longer, autumn is nearby. There are other colors waiting to take center stage. And with these changes come the fading of summer colors.

As Thoreau so wisely says, we must accept the changes and resign ourselves to what each change brings.

 

Live each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink,
taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each.
— Henry David Thoreau

 

Featured Image by Peggy Choucair from Pixabay

Five Minute Friday Link-Up :: Back

Today I’m joining a talented group of writers at Five Minute Friday. This community connects each Friday in an online, unedited free-write based on a one-word prompt. My timer is set for 5 minutes. Let’s see where this week’s prompt—BACK—leads me.

FMF, #FMF, back, prompt

Right now, in this very moment, my days are focused on the word “back.” In a variety of ways, yes. But because of one distinct meaning for this word. 

First of all, I think of back, and I think of making a comeback. I really want to come back to writing more. More of anything–essays, memoir shorts, perhaps my memoir–I just want to write. And I haven’t done much of that for almost four years. Why?

When I toy with the word “back,” I also think of the last almost four years. The chronic pain in my lower back and legs kept me distracted, unable to focus, therefore unable to write. At least that’s how I’ve experienced it. It might be different for others, but then it’s my back, my pain, my experience I’m writing about now.

So, following surgery in March, I’ve been working hard to come back from that almost four years. I’m not there yet. There’s more rehab to get through, more progress to make, more fog and darkness to push through, and more prayers to pray and patience to learn.

When I’ve accomplished all this, with God’s help, I’m certain I’ll be ready for a comeback to so many things, but most of all, to the joy of writing.

 

Feature Image Attribution: engin akyurt from Pixabay 

 

College Move-In Day | Day in the Life #12

 
 
Transitions are never easy. We are habitual creatures and enjoy life when all goes along as usual. Move-in day my freshman year of college is a memory like none other. It is representative of life going any way but the usual.
 
My parents drove my roommate, Nancy, and me to the small town of Pulaski, TN, about 70 miles south of Nashville. Daddy had done his very best at getting everything into the trunk or between Nancy and me in the back seat.
 
college move-in day, transitions, moving, changesWhen we arrived at the address we’d received for our dorm, we found a mass of cars, parents, and other students. Dad began to unload the car, and Nancy and I ran ahead to the front doors of the building. When we gave the receptionist our names, she had less than a large smile on her face.
 
It was not good news. The room assigned to us was on the first floor. Unfortunately, the first floor of this brand new building was still under construction. The first thing that popped into my mind was where would we sleep that night. But better yet, where we would shower the next morning?  
 
Our housemother arrived just then with new living arrangements. We would be living on the third floor of the home of the Dean of Students and his young family. The dean’s home was in an old Victorian house. This meant no air conditioning and no bath on the third floor. 
 
The Housing Office had gone out of its way to provide comfortable accommodations. Finding space for eight freshmen girls and one sophomore “big sister” in one place was a challenge. However, the situation provided the nine of us with the opportunity to get to know each other in a smaller community. Solid friendships were formed during this time.
 
Many good memories grew out of this experience. We did get noisy at times. Dean White had a clever way of alerting us to lower the noise level. He used the light switch at the bottom of the stairs to douse us into total darkness if we were bothering his family.
 
Spending your freshman year in college at “The White House” is not something everyone can brag about!

A Second Reading

Last week as we watched TV, perhaps preseason football, an ad for a new movie popped up. The movie is an adaptation of Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize (2014) winning novel, The GoldfinchAs I watched the trailer, for some reason I thought I had not read The Goldfinch. 

After the game finished, I quickly went to find a copy of The Goldfinch at one of our local libraries. I requested it and downloaded it to my Kindle. Noting that it was quite lengthy, I began reading it right away. It wasn’t until the next day as I read a particular scene that I realized I had read this book before.

This one particular scene, rich in detail and emotion, stood out. My recall sent me to my Goodreads account, and sure enough, The Goldfinch is listed among my read books. Usually, I check Goodreads and Amazon before going to buy or check out a book. But not this time.

At that moment, I decided I wanted to read The Goldfinch again. I am, and I am enjoying it more than I did the first time. Do you ever read a book a second time, or maybe a third? There is a lot to be gained from a second reading. Here are a few salient points on this topic:

  • Revisiting a book or article is a good way to remember it. Perhaps using a notecard system like the one Ryan Holiday describes or the one Cal Newton describes in this post. Or you may have a different and better system of your own.
  • You’ll read things the second time you missed the first time. Quotes you missed the first time. Another page you want to dog-ear. Here’s where the notetaking systems come in handy. After all, we don’t want to keep revisiting the same books.
  • Listen to the audiobook version, if available. Hearing the words, and perhaps hearing them more than once, will likely create the desire to take action.

If you read it and hear it, you’re much more likely to take action on it.
~~ Zig Ziglar

  • Have you ever attended a conference? Do you remember the high the conference experience gave you? The motivation and inspiration you received last a few days, and in the different environment of your home, the high is lost. This is where revisiting a book, article, audiotape of an interview or talk makes the impact of lasting benefit.

That’s all for today. I’ve got a full schedule waiting for me—I’ve still got 530 pages of The Goldfinch to read.

 

Featured image attribution: Image by Earl McGhee (no changes made to image)