#824 Shedding fears with Mum and Autumn leaves

Like trees, we start off small. Meek. Modest and feeble. We sway wildly with the gentle breath of Summer’s wind, and we soon realise we need to dig our roots in really deep to keep from being uprooted from the ground.

Over time, we grow. Tall, strong, roots spreading far, our branches reaching out, now covering some of those small and slender trees that we used to be.

And then Autumn comes.

The greatest tree must shed its leaves. Stature means nothing. It needs to leave everything behind, stripping itself bare and laying naked in front of the world. It does this slowly, releasing itself of three seasons, letting its layers fall away, yet still standing strong, proudly, knowing that one day, it will sprout green again.

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Today I revealed some deep-seeded fears and truths to my Mum, beside this very tree.

I had grown up thinking I could do it all on my own. But trees grow in clusters for a reason.

#821 The Autumn soup break

A picture can say so much. So here it is, with very little captioning:

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A Wintery Autumn day. Lunchtime. Kid-free. Trakkie pants. Couch.

SOUP.

My old faithful, my cauliflower one.

And this beautiful soup mug recently gifted to us by sis and bro-in-law, a pink and blue set, one for me, and one for Hubbie.

Sooo convenient that I had made soup recently 🙂

Ahhh. Who doesn’t love a hug, in the form of a mug?! 🙂 😉

#814 Park Days no. 4

Two reasons made me grateful to have made a park visit this afternoon.

1. We had originally headed for a gated playground alongside a café in a home centre, but then when we turned up the café was closed. Our coffee/babycino need wasn’t, so we went elsewhere… and after our satiated coffee break, we went down the road to fulfil baby girl’s desire, and well…

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… When this is your view, I kind of go ‘stuff you gated playground and your early closure.’ Harumph.

2. An Antarctic blast is expected to arrive in a couple of days now, and therefore send us into a Wintery land of no return. So you know, let’s do ALL the park visits, while we can.

#807 A day of handling Anxiety

Many separate and non-uniform events coincided today in an effort to reduce the stress and pressure on my mind.

Did they try, or in my mind, did I seek them out in an effort to distract myself?

The distraction is for removing myself and my troublesome thoughts from something I do not want to do… yet I have to.

All these distractions, were also instances of momentary gratitude, where I tried so hard to see the bigger picture.

This quote.

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It set me up for the day, and reminded me that without troubles and fear, I was not going to grow. I know this, and yet the fear remains, hanging in the shadows.

A rose, cut from the garden.

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A fresh batch, sprung up again. This rose tree continues to amaze me with its constant renewal and rebirth. I prune and cut for my own personal satisfaction, and still they spring up, fragrant and pretty and pink. They do not fade, they do not tire. They keep on, going on, despite the scissors that come to them, often.

The park visit.

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Have you ever done a U-turn on the spur of the moment, and changed the afternoon’s plans? Baby girl was begging for the park, and I went “what the hell.” I needed the fresh air. And the laughter. And the frivolity. And the trees. There’s nothing like being surrounded by children screaming at the park, to remind you of the humble and naïve beginnings they, and we all started from. It’s important to remind ourselves of that fact, from time to time.

And finally, the sunset.

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Pink, and blue. A colourful display as always, Autumn. Watching the colours fade into the horizon, and be overshadowed by night, to know that tomorrow light will appear again and the world will go on, happy and sad, good or bad…

Whether you show up or not.

All of these images present a metaphor for me and the things plaguing my mind, and all I know for sure is that combined, they speak of one thing, the thing I hold dearest to me:

Hope.

Hope can beat fear, Hope can push us forwards, and Hope can put my mind into a safer place than it is, with Anxiety.

I can’t wait ’til tomorrow is over.

 

 

#750 The roses keep on keeping on

I didn’t even get to say a proper goodbye. I realised that, on March 1st, after dropping baby girl off at kinder, and then parking in the driveway amidst the misty morning.

Misty. So it was Autumn now. Huh.

And just like that. My most favourite season was OVER. Although sadly, despite the warmth and beach and all, because of our lack of air con, I was so concerned about whether we would survive the intense double-storey heat, that I was almost looking forward to the cooler months.

NO! Blasphemy. I know, I know (hangs head in shame).

Which is why I failed to remember to say ‘au revoir’ to Summer. I stood there then in the driveway, realising that now too, my slowly-turned, poorly-looking roses would need to be chopped back to nothing, too.

Sigh.

But then… there was a realisation. The other day when leaving the house, I noticed something.

Amidst the tired and empty looking rose bushes, in the middle of rose bush #2…

A solitary, small rose.

Suddenly, in the absence of Summer, it gave me Hope.

And then today, again leaving the house…

Another one. In rose bush #1.

I made a plan with these obvious signs of happiness, and in the late afternoon sun headed on outside to do some pruning.

Because the roses had told me, it was not over.

There is a solitary rose on each rose bush, and I am so happy to report that there are small buds blooming in other places too.

Sure, the rose bushes now resemble NOTHING to what they did when they were blooming amazingly some time ago (a report of that account can be read here, worth reading only to see baby girl’s photo bombs), but amidst the days getting shorter, the nights and mornings getting cooler, and beach days turning into couch-fests, I take solace in this last hurrah presented to me by the greenery in our front yard.

And just an extra side note for any novice gardeners like myself out there… when gardening, do wear a hat. Even if it is not sunny. Sure the sun was out today, but still, if I hadn’t been wearing one when I brushed against a set of sharp thorns today, I would have needed stitches in my head, rather than just my hat getting stuck to the roses.

#RoseWorldProblems

 

#463 The calm after the Partay no. 2

It was so nice, just to be.

No rushing. No pressure to get things done by a certain time. No anxiety. No stress. No intense planning and strategy to cram as much into one day as possible.

No. Just a casual grocery shopping trip with baby girl. Some lunch. Cleaning. Washing. Putting away stuff that has been piling up. Sorting her old clothes away. Sweeping some leaves. Sitting out in the yard, on a glorious day where Autumn was trying her damn hardest to remind us of impending Spring, watching baby girl simultaneously manoeuvre both her scooter and Dora the Explorer bike, while I sat and looked towards the beach end, the huge tree we have prominently in my vision with its pretty pink flowers.

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Nothing to remind me of what has passed, of all the stresses and intensity gone… except for the cakes in my kitchen.

Today was a great day. So calm, so peaceful, and right now, I can’t get enough.

#457 Sweeping Autumn leaves

I’m loving Autumn more and more each year.

Not only because the season reminds me of when Hubbie and I wed. But it’s often been an under-rated season for me – I’m always too busy dreaming about Summer, dreading Winter, and getting excited at any ray of sunlight that decides to peak through the clouds in Spring.

Although we are less than half a month away (yikes!) from the coldest time of the year, I’ve come to realise, as years go by, that there is something so magical and beautiful about Autumn.

Autumn brings us the boldest and brightest of colours, shining and then fading as they roll majestically to the ground. Even the way the leaves fall, there is no hope lost in their descending action, only pristine beauty, with the promise of even brighter leaves and trees, in the far-off future.

Days may be slightly colder, but the sun is still warm, and the days are calm and peaceful, allowing for silent reflection and contemplation about what the future holds, and what actions we can take now to make our dreams come true.

That’s how Autumn feels for me.

Baby girl and I have been doing something for a few days now, which is, sweeping leaves by the side of the house. I noticed how peaceful this activity was on a crisp yet sunny Autumn’s morning last week, and was amazed that I actually enjoyed it: being outside, sweeping leaves that had fallen from our neighbours fig tree, and not even minding that they weren’t even OUR leaves. Not even OUR trees.

There is a reason why baby girl is so fascinated with the sweeping leaves process – in doing so I am literally paving the way so she can ride her scooter, leaf-free. So today, amidst baking like mad for my parents’ upcoming anniversary party, I took some slight refuge amidst the busy-ness of it all, and while bringing in provisions from the garage, I stopped to ask baby girl, who was already turning the scooter around “do you want me to sweep the leaves?”

I was so busy, but a part of me wanted to do it. A part of me has found real solace in the gentle, cleansing action, the scraping of the broom against concrete, bristles against crackling leaves. In fact, I adore it.

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Finding gratitude, everyday, in places I’d never expect…