Reflections on Fall

Lake reflection

On my way out last week,  I noticed these spectacular fall reflections in the lake, clear as glass that morning. I pulled into the town beach parking area and walked around, looking at the small surrounding hills from different vantage points and noticing how the reflections of the clouds in the sky enhanced the fall colors in the trees. It created a true mirror image and I tried to capture the ephemeral feeling of the lake when it is calm. The water always changes, at different times of day, and throughout the cycle of seasons and weather patterns. 

Sherwood Island

Last weekend I was visiting my sister and I went to Sherwood Island State Park and walked the beach. It was chilly and I had forgotten my knitted hat, but I ignored the stiff offshore breeze and made my way across the sand. I picked up several small shells and added them to the shells I carry in my pocket, a little bit of the beach always with me. I also chose one round flat rock to bring home as a touchstone for the day. There is just something about the water and the beach that I am drawn to, like a magnet. It replenishes my weary spirit inside and brings me renewal. I may feel half broken when I approach the water, but I always come away healed and with my energy restored.

Button jar

Back at home, I decided to go on a foliage drive to Colchester, passing scenic ponds surrounded by colorful trees and several local farms along the way. There is a vintage shop in Colchester here filled with really cool  items in small booths filled by a variety of individual vendors. It is the kind of place you wander around slowly for an hour in amazement, looking at everything, and you eventually find something that you want to bring home. I found this jar of buttons and fell in love with it. I have a button collection, as well as my mother’s button collection acquired last year, but when I downsized from the house to my condo 3 years ago, I gave away many things, including half of my button collection. So this button jar represents a small effort to reclaim a piece of myself that was lost. Buttons are ordinary objects and that gives them a special appeal. The Raggedy Ann doll sitting on the chair came from this same vintage shop on a previous visit.

Leaves collage

On one of my recent walks I gathered fallen leaves and brought them home, unsure about what I was going to do with them. They sat out on the kitchen counter for a few days, and then I decided to trace a few of them onto scrapbook paper in my art to go bag and create a simple collage in my 5” x 8” Canson sketchbook. So I cut out the paper leaves and glued them down. I used Tombow markers to darken the colors in the leaf shapes. I added some jagged lines to the background with a Pigma Micron pen and then I colored the background with a NuPastel stick.

Swirly shapes

I drew some random curved shapes in my sketchbook, added small circles, and colored everything in a simple color scheme using my Tombow markers. I really like these markers because they are double ended with a point tip and a brush tip, they are water based so I don’t have an allergic reaction to them, they last a long while and don’t dry out, and they are reasonably priced.

Hearts on a string

This is a spontaneous heart and circle doodle in my sketchbook. I enjoy drawing things like this and coloring in the shapes with my Tombow markers using random bits of color. This sketch is reminiscent of the plastic party beads you can get at a party store or Mardi Gras celebration.

I am trying to be more spontaneous as a path leading into the things that nourish my heart and soul. I tend to be list driven and goal driven and that often gets in the way of being with myself and hearing what I truly need from the voice inside.  The small things in life are so important and they can go overlooked in that search to be doing important things that are not really important and not the essence of life.  I talked about my reflections on this here 2 years ago in a blog post called Contemplation and Renewal.

 

Hammonasset in Fall Light

Hammonasset looks different in the fall light. The sun is lower in the sky in October in the northern hemisphere and the colors of land, sea, and sky take on a magical quality. The sky was partially cloudy that day, but the light coming from behind the clouds made the clouds glow. The sky was particularly beautiful and entrancing.

Hammonasset Oct 2018

There was a precarious cairn perched on top of a rock near the edge of the sea. The structure had a delicate balance and looked like it could topple over at any moment. The rock cairns appear and then disappear frequently. They are ephemeral in nature and not meant to last for very long.

Hammonasset Oct 2018

Sometimes I stop along the path and sit on a driftwood log on one of the rocky shell beaches. I listen to the waves on the rocks, watch the seagulls fly, and look out towards the horizon where I can see the faint outline of Long Island, about 20 miles across the sound. On the left I can see the jetty and lighthouse at Saybrook Point. It gives me comfort to be in this place and connect with myself, the me inside who can get ignored and wants to be heard.

Hammonasset Oct 2018

There were monarch butterflies everywhere and one landed on the arm of my colorful quilted jacket and stayed there a while. Each fall, millions of monarch butterflies leave their summer breeding grounds in the northeastern U.S. and Canada and travel upwards of 3,000 miles to reach overwintering grounds in southwestern Mexico.

Hammonasset Oct 2018

Further along the path, the clouds took on a shade of purple, my favorite color. The sky kept changing as I walked along… sometimes darker, sometimes light, sometimes with wispy strands of clouds stretching out forever and sometimes with blue sky breaking through.

Hammonasset Oct 2018

I don’t know why, but everything looks different on the return trip. It is as if something has changed and you notice things that you didn’t see before. There is a feeling of coming home, of arriving, of coming back into yourself after being away. This is what I seek when I come here.

Hammonasset Oct 2018

This is the entrance to the path, and it is only accessible around low tide. This area becomes covered with water as the tide rolls in, making most of the path inaccessible. I always check the tide charts before I come for a visit so that I can walk the path. Some people are like that… they are only accessible at certain times and other times they are closed off. It is not easy to reach out to someone like that.

Hammonasset Oct 2018

The labyrinth at Hammonasset has grown and changed over the years. It is breathtaking! It is hard to believe it has been one year since my last visit, see blog post here. I don’t usually let that much time go by. A lot has happened since then.

Hammonasset Oct 2018

I am still struggling with health issues but I am hopeful that everything will work out for me. I am starting to see small glimpses of feeling better… there is a little more lightness in my step, and the fatigue is starting to lessen. Slowly my energy is returning and I am able to do more of the things that I want to do.

Hammonasset Oct 2018