Autumn is the seasonal gala, when nature adorns herself in a flash of warm color before falling asleep under a blanket of winter.
Ellie and I were both asleep last Autumn. She was too young to see the sunset of falling leaves, and I was too ill to go outside and revel in my favorite season.
We take walks most days. We see turkey and deer and chipmunks. She points and grunts behind her binkie.
She loves to be outside, to unearth the acorns half-buried in the driveway. She grabs sticks with leaves attached and shakes them like a wand covered in ribbons and bells.
I pick up leaves from the cool pavement and dewed grass. I show her the varied colors and shapes. I hand her newts and caterpillars.
I’m not entirely accustomed to the rural feel of life out here, but I begin to see the draw when I’m standing beneath a canopy of mottled leaves, or marveling at the color and texture in one patch of moss.
all photographs © Rachel Svendsen 2018
Tim and I randomly drive into New York to play tourist. I think I’m afraid that someday soon our life will come into focus and we’ll end up moving to Kentucky or something and I won’t have access to Central Park anymore. New York is dynamic, constantly changing and shifting. It never looks the same twice to me. Perhaps if I actually lived there I’d feel different about it, but each time I drive in I see something crazy and beautiful that I never noticed before.
This particular day was wet and cold and foggy. We were planning on seeing The Museum of Natural History, but the parking we’d prepaid for was mysteriously full up. We ended up just driving around New York instead.
It was amazing. The fog was dense and clung to the tops of the buildings like smoke rings. Sometimes we couldn’t tell if the buildings were ended or the fog had just swallowed up the upper stories. I tried to imagine what it would be like to work in one of those offices, to look out your window and see nothing but smoky grey, instead of the usual bustle and beat of the city below you.
The bridges too were smothered, so that as we drove over the George Washington, we could barely see the other side of the river.
I’ll never forget how beautiful it was.
I’ve taken to photography as a hobby now, and love snapping pictures. It was an easy thing to get into, mostly because of smart phones all being equipped with cameras. I don’t by any means think I’m great at it, but I enjoy trying to capture what I see at just the right angle, or just the right lighting.
My two favorite subjects for pictures are sunsets…
…and New York City.
I take all my photos on my iPhone right now, so I’m clearly not planning on going professional, but it’s fun to play around with the focus and I’ve got some pictures I’m really proud of. I took this one in Central Park this winter.
This one is of my in-law’s chandelier.
This one of the daffodils is the only one here not taken on my iPhone. I borrowed my Dad’s camera.
And last of all, here is one I took of my Buppy ❤ doesn’t he have a lovely profile? *sigh*
My husband and I had very different ideas about what song we would use for our first dance. We both had songs that made us think of each other, but none of them were the same. We went back and forth for a while, until I struck a new idea.
We met at Raritan Valley Community College where we were both studying music. In those days, I was an aspiring singer who hated publicly performing. So as much as I wanted to sing to my husband on our wedding day, I didn’t want to sing to him on our wedding day. Each performance I did was already a near death experience, but on my wedding day I knew I would be a sobbing mess of blubbering panic attacks. It was also likely they would record this disaster, making the idea that much more abhorrent.
So I asked Timothy if we could record a duet together and use that song as our first dance. He loved the idea. We chose, “I See the Light,” from Disney’s Tangled. We rehearsed it with my vocal coach, and recorded it in a small studio in town. I wanted to make a slideshow to go with it, hoping that people would look at it instead of us dancing, but planning the wedding was too overwhelming so I dropped the idea.
Today, we will be married 3 years. I made my slideshow.
This is for you Timothy. I love you so very much.
Summer is long over. The lingering days of warmth faded into an early morning chill that warned of autumn creeping over nature.
If summer is the peak of warmth and winter the peak of cold, then autumn and spring are the transitional seasons. The tweeners. I don’t particularly like being hot because I love tea and fuzzy socks and warm blankets and cuddling in my husband’s sweat shirts. So as beautiful as summer is, with lazy warm days at the shore under sunny blue skies, it’s still not my favorite season. Since I like the cold, I’m more drawn to winter. The catch is that I’m not a huge fan of snow. I think it’s because it often dumps from the sky in such huge quantities that I become a prisoner in my own house. This strange claustrophobia makes less sense when you understand my habits. Some days I barely leave my house for writing and reading all day. I think it’s just the mental block of an outside force controlling my ability to do as I please.
There is beauty in every season, but fall is probably my favorite. Fall is a fading from summers heat into a sigh of cool breezes. The stark beauty of green bursts forth into a myriad of color. Red, orange, yellow, and brown, with pops of purple and pink. I love when the breeze blows and the leaves flutter and dip to the ground like raindrops to cover the dying grass. It’s like the trees are knitting their foliage into a blanket to cover their toes against the coming snow.
I love walking in fall. I love the sound of dry leaves scraping and clicking as the wind sends them skipping across the pavement. I love the smells of earth which seems accentuated with the cooling temperature.
I’ve been more awake this year to the changing seasons. There’s probably many reasons for that. Sometimes I think it’s because we moved to a more rural area. Or maybe it’s because of my husband’s job change, giving us more chance to spend time outside. I think those things help, but more than that I think it’s because I want to be awake now. The more I grow, the more I realize how much of my life I’ve spent asleep. Now my eyes are open, and I don’t want to miss a thing.
Not one color. Not one scent. Not one fallen leaf.
© Rachel Svendsen 2015
I want you all to take a moment and look at the following picture.
Look at it closely. Tell me what you see. Go ahead. Say it aloud to the screen. Now that you’ve done that I want to show you what you may or may not have seen.
Weird right? I mean my geography sucks, I’m not gonna lie, but my husband agreed with me and he’s a smart one. Not just that. Take a look at this too…