Thoughts on Falling Leaves & Love Right Where I Am

It’s quiet here this morning so I’ll be whispering this to you.

Fall leaves and garden inspiration - Hello Lovely Studio #fallleaves #fall #autumn #hellolovelystudio
Hello Lovely Studio

I am gazing out the window at a “lawn” of crunchy orange fallen leaves. Lawn is in quotes since ours is a camp-like sort of  woodsy landscape. I love how it looks. It’s a trade-off. Tall trees provide beauty and lovely shelter for busy creatures. Yet they also create a canopy too shady for dense green grass to flourish. I am told someone will arrive this week to labor and erase the yellow and orange from the ground. So I’ll savor the beauty til then.

Fall leaves and garden inspiration - Hello Lovely Studio #fallleaves #fall #autumn #hellolovelystudio
Hello Lovely Studio

Just now, I’ll let the evolving colors of my thoughts emerge, drift, and gently land where they may.

Fall leaves and garden inspiration - Hello Lovely Studio #fallleaves #fall #autumn #hellolovelystudio
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Yesterday, I kept busy with long overdue organizing and housekeeping, beginning with my closet and bedroom. While I always feel better when it’s done, the process was anything but enjoyable. It isn’t the manual labor and cleaning I dread. It’s my deep sensitivity. My fingers touching the stored sentimental bits and pieces. The dozens of decisions to make about what stays and what goes.

Fall leaves and garden inspiration - Hello Lovely Studio #fallleaves #fall #autumn #hellolovelystudio
Hello Lovely Studio

On a high shelf, a basket containing an urn with Bella Luna’s ashes and toys had to be removed for dusting. Our shihtzu may have left us three years ago, but her presence is strong here still. Death’s sting felt fresh as I handled what brought our family so much joy and pleasure.

Fall leaves and garden inspiration - Hello Lovely Studio #fallleaves #fall #autumn #hellolovelystudio
Hello Lovely Studio

Letting go of a pet, a loved one, or a dream is an ongoing exercise in deepening, and I know you understand.

Fall leaves and garden inspiration - Hello Lovely Studio #fallleaves #fall #autumn #hellolovelystudio
Hello Lovely Studio

I suppose the hidden blessing is how hearts are capable of forming such miraculous bonds which defy time and space. One of my spiritual mentors says grief is love with no place to go; a mysterious pathway to transformation. This feels true to my spirit just now. I’m reminded of how when left to my own devices, I simply want to cling. Cling to the lovely familiar, to those easiest to love, to inspiring words and ideas.

Fall leaves and garden inspiration - Hello Lovely Studio #fallleaves #fall #autumn #hellolovelystudio
Hello Lovely Studio

But the trees in my autumn yard teach a higher consciousness.

Fall leaves and garden inspiration - Hello Lovely Studio #fallleaves #fall #autumn #hellolovelystudio
Hello Lovely Studio

Their branches bravely let go for the season, and what appears to be sorrowful death for the tree is a path to transformation.

Fall leaves and garden inspiration - Hello Lovely Studio #fallleaves #fall #autumn #hellolovelystudio
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The day before yesterday, I spent time at the piano, and a fragment of a new song came forth with lyrics and chords arriving simultaneously as they typically do. “I long to tell you a secret – But I’m afraid you’ll run away – For what I have seen – I have seen with the eyes of my soul – There’s more in this life – to receive, to trust, to hold – First, let go.”

Fall leaves and garden inspiration - Hello Lovely Studio #fallleaves #fall #autumn #hellolovelystudio
Hello Lovely Studio

Indeed, fall’s magic and wisdom for letting go will not be wasted on this woodland fairy.

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Jody Stella for Hello Lovely Studio

Three days back was our firstborn’s birthday, and mother and son had an encounter during a casual lunch. For me, it felt so much like an encounter with Christ that I am led to think it was. A beggar approached us as we were eating, handing us a note. Luke proceeded to read it as the gentleman backed away from the table. My son’s eyes became these precious blue saltwater pools as he summarized for me. The note explained he was deaf, was sorry to disturb us, was sorry he was begging, was afraid since his homelessness is new after recently losing his father. He was collecting funds to pay for a motel for the night.

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I couldn’t empty my wallet quickly enough – so moved by his needs. We embraced him, and he was full of relief and emotion. (I wanted to wash his clothes – and I may go find him this week and offer.) When we asked if we could buy him lunch, he was delighted. We scribbled notes and typed on our phones to communicate and brainstorm housing options. He did not want to return to the rescue mission downtown because of the mentally ill company and unpredictability he experienced there. Something unspeakable occurred the last night he stayed at the mission, and he was determined never to return.

Imagine sleeping in a public space with strangers with the added vulnerability of deafness.

Oscar Wilde quote: we are all in the gutter but some of us are looking at the stars. #hellolovelystudio #oscarwilde
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His hands were signing ‘thank you,’ while ours clutched our hearts. Our brother kept offering us the treasure and truth of his story. This included directing attention to fresh stitches and scars from a recent major surgery which surely complicated his already dire circumstances. You might think the bold gesture as he raised his shirt would embarrass or frighten us in a public place, but it certainly did not.

Fall leaves and garden inspiration - Hello Lovely Studio #fallleaves #fall #autumn #hellolovelystudio
Hello Lovely Studio

His sacred scars were offered as a gift.

Fall leaves and garden inspiration - Hello Lovely Studio #fallleaves #fall #autumn #hellolovelystudio
Hello Lovely Studio

Once you enter into intimacy with another so vulnerable, broken, and Christ-like, you can never really leave unchanged.

Fall leaves and garden inspiration - Hello Lovely Studio #fallleaves #fall #autumn #hellolovelystudio
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It wasn’t a birthday lunch interrupted; it was an opportunity for our souls to awaken to compassion, to mercy. For it’s there we find the face of God.

Rosary and candlelight. #hellolovelystudio #faith #rosary
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Awakened, you see life not as a series of obstacles to overcome or as time to achieve and produce, but as a school of higher love. It’s all rather humbling. What a blessing, this Source of limitless grace. This chance to see we are a divine branch on a trustworthy vine.

Branch in a vase in a French farmhouse room. #hellolovelystudio #stilllife
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This knowing we can free fall because the welcoming ground is safe too.

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Hello Lovely Studio

p.s.

If you’re on Instagram (follow me!), I shared some London moments like this.

p.s.s.

Mosey over to check out my PINTEREST BOARDS for more inspiration – I am saving Christmas decorating ideas at the moment.

I independently selected products in this post—if you buy from one of my links, I may earn a commission.

Peace to you right where you are.

-michele

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22 Comments

  1. Jan McCarty
    November 5, 2018 / 7:52 pm

    Thanks Michele for the beautiful story from Luke’s birthday dinner. I would love to have been there and shared in the spiritual encounter. God continues to open our hearts and our minds to Others – it’s a beautiful thing! Love you!

    • michele
      Author
      November 5, 2018 / 8:42 pm

      The man would have been blessed by you and you by him. xox

  2. Cristie
    November 6, 2018 / 6:14 am

    Amen and Amen!

    • michele
      Author
      November 6, 2018 / 9:01 am

      Thanks for reading, friend.

  3. Jojo
    November 6, 2018 / 6:49 am

    Beautiful post. I moved Suki’s urn the other day and found myself longing to kiss her little snout and rub her belly. My heart aches for the man you met but rejoices that he found you and L.

    • michele
      Author
      November 6, 2018 / 9:00 am

      Your heart is so soft and pure. Suki was such a gift.Thanks for reading. xox

  4. November 6, 2018 / 7:23 am

    Your story moved me to tears. Thank you for helping him and thank you for sharing with us. A reminder of the importance of listening, even to those who cannot speak. And of the humanity of all.

    • michele
      Author
      November 6, 2018 / 8:59 am

      He helped us much more than we him. Thank you for your tenderness. xox

  5. November 6, 2018 / 7:27 am

    Oh Michele! Thank you for sharing this story with us. What a powerful , life changing encounter God gave to you and your son. You bless us every day with your words❤️

    • michele
      Author
      November 6, 2018 / 8:58 am

      Thanks for reading with an open heart, Holly. You always lift me up. xox

  6. Carolyn
    November 6, 2018 / 9:18 am

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful story. Brought tears to my eyes.

    • michele
      Author
      November 6, 2018 / 9:25 am

      Thanks for your tender heart and for reading. xox

  7. Phyllis Cooper Thomason
    November 6, 2018 / 9:23 am

    Wonderful story!

    • michele
      Author
      November 6, 2018 / 9:25 am

      Thank you. Fall is a powerful season, and I am led into deeper humility. xox

  8. Joanna
    November 6, 2018 / 10:51 am

    There, but for the Grace of God, go I. I try to remember this when encountering those less fortunate. What lead them to such a life? Thank you for being so gracious to this young man.
    On a lighter note,
    I love to watch falling leaves as they softly tumble to the ground, the sound of the crunch under foot and a new season to embrace. I had many options yesterday afternoon but picked raking leaves. My husband questioned why? My garden is my serene place. My mind rests, my stress level calms and a smile is always on my face.
    Blessings ~ Joanna

    • michele
      Author
      November 6, 2018 / 12:29 pm

      Yep, all grace – don’t I need it daily! You go girl, with your raking of leaves – it can be a spiritual practice for sure and gets us out of our heads and into our hearts. Peace to you, friend.

  9. November 6, 2018 / 10:58 am

    Beautiful, Michelle. All of you were blessed at that luncheon table event. And thank you for these lovely wet November pictures in the park. I love this time of year.

    • michele
      Author
      November 6, 2018 / 12:28 pm

      The best days are those when we can be a blessing, aren’t they? Fall is always a good idea! 🙂

  10. Sonja
    November 6, 2018 / 12:29 pm

    Michelle…I am moved beyond words. I read this through years and this beautiful warmth that overcame me. You and your family have been blessed, indeed. For a stranger is but a son of God. I’m always thinking, if not me…then who? Everyone needs someone…sometime. Be blessed sweet woman. Never lose that memory. Hugs.

    • michele
      Author
      November 6, 2018 / 12:32 pm

      Oh how you are paying the blessing forward to me – I’m warmed by hearing that you are warmed. This stranger is indeed a son of God! You totally get it. Our memories tend to fade for these types of supernatural encounters where we see beyond the veil. Thank you for adding to the beauty. xox

  11. Karen H.
    November 6, 2018 / 6:34 pm

    Michele, I’m always touched by your tender and compassionate heart. Your encounter with this homeless gentleman was certainly a gift. He was blessed, you and Luke were blessed, and you have shared this loving blessing with all of us. I needed this today. Much love to you ❤️

    • michele
      Author
      November 6, 2018 / 6:53 pm

      I’m still awed by the power of this encounter to see the face of God. So much blessing, and so many prayers going up for this gentleman. Thank you for adding to the beauty.xox

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White Slipcovered Sofa
French Country Wicker Trunk Storage
29″ Whitewashed Table Lamp Set of 2
Antique Chinese Wood Rustic Round Stool
French Country Bed
Tuscan Terracotta Urn Vase
Round Farmhouse Table
Myla Slipcover Sofa
Deconstructed Wingback Bed
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Milagro Heart
Slipcoverd Dining Chair
Rustic Farmhouse Stool
Edgecombe End Table
Silver Rectangle Accent Table
Black or Bronze Accent Table
French Stripe Basket Set
Chevron White Quilt Set
French Country Rattan Basket Set
Marble Subway Mosaic Tile
Vintage Collapsible French Laundry Basket
White Ruffle Bedding
White Linen Club Chair
Schumacher Wild Things Wallpaper
Wide Pine Sideboard
Linen Napkin Set
French Country Lamp Set
White Matelasse Quilt
French Country Mirror
French Lidded Baskets
Shaw Daybed
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
White Artichoke Lamp
French Country Headboard
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Antique Brass Pharmacy Floor Lamp
Round French Tufted Ottoman
Kinston Wood Bench
Italian Candelabra Chandelier
Slope Arm Linen Chair Set
Warner Upholstered Bench
Rustic Country French Dresser
Rustic French Confit Pot
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Reclaimed Wood Dresser
Louis Upholstered Bench
Pardon My French Doormat
Stripe Turkish Towel Throw
Pamela Arm Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
French Carved Wood Chandelier
Terracotta Pots & Basket
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair
Gustavian Cabinet
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Bar Stool
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Rattan Armchair
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
French Industrial Metal Chairs (4)
Designer Favorite Wall Mirror
Holborn Lantern Pendant
French Country 6-Light Chandelier
Rustic End Table
French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
Wicker Trunk Set
French Ticking Stripe Pillow
Jute Area Rug
Mohair Throw
Rustic Industrial Farmhouse Shelves
Belgian Linen Sofa
White Duvet & Bedding
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Linen Modern Wing Chair
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Concrete Pillar Table Lamp
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Style Lamp
Kendall Skirted Dining Chair
White Charleston Sofa
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Highback Armchair
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Round Woven Placemat Set
Cashmere Throw With Fringe
Black Bergamot Soy Candle
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
White Waffle Coverlet
Light Grey Vienna Quilt
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Linen Duvet Set
Round Marble Side Table
Rustic Pedestal Farm Table
Rattan Hanging Chair Swing