I took a drive through the forest preserves near my house today . . . It was cloudy - a grayish overcast outside - but in these woods, you couldn't tell. The changing colors were still so present, clouds and all. And only 5 minutes into my ride . . . I could feel that we are in middle of a great change in seasons. And I loved that today.
It was just me . . . and the crickets chirping, the birds tweeting, the small little stream trickling, and the distant train whistles blowing. And it was beautiful.
I like to drive through here every few weeks. Sometimes I get out and walk for a while, alone . . . but not very often. I must have seen too many SVU crime shows to be comfortable in the woods by myself. But I still love being there.
Sometimes I get upset when I see a car pull up behind me. In my moments of peace, I find myself feeling hurried along and bothered, and usually pull off to the side so the other visitor can pass. It's funny . . . In life, I often feel like I'm being rushed along and being hurried. Rushed to do more, accomplish more, join more, volunteer more, sell more, make more, etc. I never realized the similarities from this little place in the woods - to me and where I am in life right now, until this very moment.
A lot of the leaves are changing colors and many have already fallen to the ground, but there still is a great deal of green holding on tight.
I wonder when they will finally give in to it all . . . and let go.
I'm not an out-doorsie type of girl. You won't find me at a camp ground, or sleeping in a tent (unless, of course, the girls asked me to.) The air conditioner has been known to turn on in my house in early May and sometimes will remain on until October. (Who likes sweaty crevices?)
But there is something about this little area of woods near our home that makes me happy. It brings me great peace. It offers me comfort. It feels like home.
And Fall? It truly is my favorite. Long sleeves and pants, a chill in the air, pumpkin spice lattes, and pumpkin scented candles. Oh how I love this time of year.
My girls are changing, too. I've seen the biggest growth in them this past summer. Katie, now in 5th grade, is far more independent than I can remember being at that time in my life. And Ella? I find myself often saying, "Let me be your mom and help you with this, will you?" to her when she insists on doing everything for herself. Oh, how I love their determination and strength. But this sure came faster than I thought.
I worked on a bunch of new art projects last week, and I find I always need to take some time once I've complete a lot of work to just . . . Be. I need time to breathe. Time to reflect. Time to re-focus. It's amazing that sometimes all I need is a little moment in these woods to do just that.
Then . . . I am ready to go again.
I think this year has been an incredible one for me. No, I'm not selling thousands of items of my art. No, I haven't been published or even come close to finishing that book I've been working on. No, I never did develop that e-course I thought about doing last winter. But what I have done this year, far outweighs all the other things.
This year, I found me. And I have learned that I am right where I need to be.
This year, I found peace.
This year, I stood up for myself.
This year, I forgave.
This year, I dreamed.
And this year, I lived. BIG time.
The tides are moving again . . . Changing moments are ahead . . . I feel it.
Oh, what will tomorrow bring? I can't wait to see!
Much love, friends . . . And Peace.