Anticipating Change

28 Oct

Curving up West Mountain2

It’s dark and damp outside, the product of three drizzling days of lazy rain.  No thunder or drama, just the persistent mist of late autumn on the mountain, the last vestiges of a once brilliant floral floor falling in decay, while the canopy above explodes in blasts of impulsive color.  Crisp air carries the musky scent of wet soil as the temperature plunges, leaving the forest vulnerable to the stark nakedness that will soon follow.

All summer the woods expanded, reaching closer to my door, but now they are shrinking in a slow retreat that will widen the spaces between each magnificent tree and end, eventually, in the white silence of fallen snow.

These are the busy days; the squirrels are fat, darting in and out of hollows and thatched crevices with their jaws stretched to capacity with nuts and fallen fruit.  Foxes move deeper into their dens, and the light twilled sounds of songbirds are overcome by strong, scratchy notes coughed from the throats of crows and ravens.

The steady circadian hum that marked the onset of slow summer nights has been replaced with pure silence, broken occasionally by the howl of coyote in the distance, or the harsh, splitting assault of a poacher’s kill shot.

Black canvas skies feel deeper.  Stars, lit like votive candles, punctuate vast dark fields. And the intensity of light traveling for thousands and thousands of years emphasizes the emptiness above, accentuating constellations described by an array of mythical stories intended to remind us of our vulnerabilities to the wills and powers of the unknown.


Between night and rain, the most amazing clear days lend themselves to preparations for winter as I harvest and dry herbs from my gardens,collect seeds, trim baring bushes and fruit trees, cover thinning flower beds with fallen leaves, and thoughtfully redefine the perimeters of our home in anticipation of the uncertainties of the coming winter season.

Inside, I’m refinishing old furniture I’ve drug around for a lifetime and adding fresh paint to faded walls.  I’ve finished quilting my holiday quilt and look forward to hanging it on the walnut quilt holder Rich built for my displays several years ago.  I’m thumbing through old fall and winter cook books in search of comfort food recipes I can revamp and up-cycle into healthier versions of themselves in order to provide my family with sound nutrition that keeps the coziness and reassurance of traditional flavors.

I’m nearly manic in a nesting mode, yet more peaceful and happier than I can recall being for a very long time.  I’m paying attention to every detail in every moment and learning from mistakes I make along the way, but being kind to myself at the same time.

I’m feeling appreciative to this old body that has carried me through all the years of my life in spite of how badly or irresponsibly I treated it in younger times.  I would never dream of altering it, lifting, tucking, cutting off and throwing any part of it away in order to retain some silly semblance of youth.  For me, that would be an exercise in futility, and an insult to the organic process of being born, blossoming,  progressing, then fading and dying in a natural way.  I’ve tended the bedsides of too many hospice patients to waste my time holding on to surface matter, learning from their experiences that joy and satisfaction comes from living life well in the present moment, no matter its length or challenging circumstance.

I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve waiting for Santa because Rich is retiring, for good this time, at the end of December.  January 1st is kick-off day for our journey together through the Golden Years, no matter what they bring or impose.

on the front porch


26 Responses to “Anticipating Change”

  1. xbox2121 October 28, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    You have a awesome style of writing and you tell your stories very well. Congratulations to the both of you on your husbands upcoming retirement !

    • ittymac October 28, 2013 at 4:33 pm #

      Thank you so much. I’m thrilled you stumbled across my blog because that helped me find yours, which I’ve thoroughly enjoyed!

  2. Archita October 28, 2013 at 6:15 pm #

    This is crafted so beautiful , word by word – a mixture of true happiness and melancholy.Your picture is wonderful.

    • Archita October 28, 2013 at 6:16 pm #

      beautifully – I meant.

      • ittymac October 28, 2013 at 6:17 pm #


    • ittymac October 28, 2013 at 6:17 pm #

      Thank you! Your opinion is Very important to me.

      • April October 29, 2013 at 8:18 am #

        I love reading pieces that linger with me long after I read them. Your post was one of them–in fact, I couldn’t wait to get back on here and leave a comment. I love your descriptive style. Only one problem, I wish we lived in a part of the country which had distinct seasons. The south is still foreign to me, but it’s growing on me.

        Enjoy the retirement!

      • ittymac October 29, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

        Thanks for your positive comment and warm support. I’ve enjoyed your blog too; it’s quite inspirational.

  3. fictionfitz October 29, 2013 at 5:22 am #

    I only echo what you heard above. You have a great writing voice. More, more, more.

    • ittymac October 29, 2013 at 12:30 pm #

      Thank your for your kind response. It always feels good to know others are enjoying your work. The truth is, as I suspect you already know, writing isn’t work; it’s not even something I do. Writing is an honest expression of my life.

  4. Claudia Anderson October 30, 2013 at 4:11 pm #

    Ohhhh…I love this…I wish I was closer to those “retirement” years. My husband is younger than me, so my wait for him will be longer. But your words echo every beat of my heart. I’m going to repost this when I get back over to my blog. (am peeking in from an email). Love your magic, my friend.

    • ittymac October 30, 2013 at 4:14 pm #

      I’m 3 years older than Rich.. I retired I am so Very, Very much ready for this. Thanks for the repost.

  5. wantonwordflirt October 31, 2013 at 11:49 pm #

    Beautiful pensive post. A delight to read and absorb your words! SIGH.

    Congratulations to you and your husband as you begin the next phase of your journey together. May you have many blessings in your Golden Years.

    (P.S. Thank you again for the Versatile Blogger Award. Sadly I have not blogged for 3 weeks, but hope to get to it this weekend, as the first snow hits us here in Northern Canada.)

    • ittymac November 1, 2013 at 3:03 pm #

      You’re so welcome… And thanks for your positive comment. Believe me, we’re ready to begin this exciting life passage.

  6. theempathyqueen November 3, 2013 at 7:49 pm #

    As usual, your writing is exquisite and evocative. I am so happy for you, your joy leaps from the page.

    • ittymac November 3, 2013 at 7:50 pm #

      Thank you. I’m so happy you’re mother is keeping in touch. Love is amazing.

  7. Tammy November 6, 2013 at 7:18 pm #

    I feel like I need to go get a cup of tea when I read you.

    • ittymac November 6, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

      😊 thank you … Tea is always good.

  8. theempathyqueen November 7, 2013 at 6:41 pm #

    I am just re-reading your post…….writing is so luxuriant and sensual. Each aspect of your considered view is like poetry. Exquisite!

    • ittymac November 7, 2013 at 6:45 pm #

      Thank you. You’re building my confidence.

  9. theinnerzone November 13, 2013 at 8:17 pm #

    So lush and lucid! I am glad I read this wonderful post. The picture is icing on the cake 🙂

    • ittymac November 14, 2013 at 8:26 pm #

      Thank you. Honestly.

  10. Main Street Musings Blog November 17, 2013 at 6:57 am #

    What a beautifully written post!

    • ittymac November 17, 2013 at 10:45 am #

      Thanks for the positive note! 😊

  11. 2ndhalfolife January 11, 2015 at 4:53 pm #

    I love your posts! ❤

    • ittymac January 11, 2015 at 6:40 pm #

      Thanks Ams, we have a mutual admiration society between us.. Tuesday I’m having a 3 vessel coronary artery bypass with a maze procedure…Fingers crossed 😊 love you. I’ll be MIA for a while so keep the fire burning.

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