Serene Fall Decor & September Tranquility will hopefully bring soothing calm. It is what I need right now. I am not ready to share what is happening personally, but you can likely imagine if you have read recent posts.
We are living a nightmare, and our home has become a house of suffering. Our courtyard garden has become Gethsemane, and we are trying to survive. I’ll tell you more later, and please keep praying. My heart has no fear, yet I’m struggling with uncertainty just the same. Since I can hardly keep my eyes open, these calming reflections from last year will have to do.
Serene Fall Decor & Whispers of Timeless Tranquility
***Although this post is from last year, the timeless reflections continue to resonate…maybe they will resonate for you also.
No mind blowing blog-worthy designs from me; just an accidental 5-minute photo shoot during a peaceful breakfast last fall.
Reflections from Last October
After I unplugged from media and moved through the day at a luxuriously slow, elegant pace, I was rewarded with simple pleasures. A flickering dance of flames upon European pink Cinderella pumpkin flesh.
Time to savor the beauty of vintage china. Quiet communing with lovely images in a new design book.
Blogging demands more work than you might imagine (thank you for your tolerance of the deluge of ads which make this free content possible), and I treasure unplugged time more than ever.
I’m a little under the weather as a result of a flu shot + tetanus shot on same day, but grateful that symptoms of my GI illness have eased.
Life Has Been Less Than Calm
Since my system is not able to effectively digest fats and certain proteins, I have been treated for pancreatic insufficiency.
Because I can tolerate just small amounts of yummy fats, the goal is always to choose good fats, and I must also limit portions of everything.
Whenever I can actually ABSORB nutrients, it’s a huge blessing.
Every over-40 woman I know struggles to maintain a healthy weight, and when I’m in remission for gastrointestinal disease, I understand the challenge too.
I am grateful to have survived another nightmarish chapter and looking forward to the opportunity to hopefully regain weight. 🙂 While my remission may not stretch too many months, oh the joy to enjoy comfort food while it does!
Calm Autumn Color is My Happy Place
The quiet fall color you see here feels like home even though I adore visiting color away from these walls.
I scored the pale European pink pumpkins at the grocery store only to discover they closely match my pointe shoe collection.
For a few minutes before I snapped any photos, I watched the winds stir the trees in our backyard. Then I checked out the front:
After pulling on my boots and heading out to collect a few leaves from the ground, raindrops began to baptize me as I knelt in pajamas and wellies.
The sudden rain shower was so consistent with the experience of living here in Northern Illinois with fall weather as moody as me.
Fall Weather & Life Are Always in Flux
Folks who live here are crazy about autumn, but the truth is, it breezes by in a flash, morphing into frigid wintry grey days quicker than grass through a goose.
So if we don’t get out in it or slow down enough to savor walnut and oak leaves letting go, hot apple cider sipping, and little pumpkin altars in the world, it’s bound to breeze on by. (Do I sound strangely reminiscent of another Chicagoan in a high school movie whose name rhymes with Paris Jeweler?)
I’m so thankful for what I’ve got, friends.
To be this rich in love, wonder, and imagination is to be bathed in the gentle, candle-lit colors you see here.
For me, these hues are never dull or uninteresting. I mean it is all about the light.
While the palette is lightweight and ethereal, I find faded chalky hues as comforting as smooth silk, nubby linen, or sumptuous velvet.
Pale Pink Glass Prayer Beads
Did you notice my pale pink prayer beads in the mix?
For a season, I created these necklaces with tumbled glass beads from Africa and collected vintage religious amulets.
If such textural beads encourage and remind us to pray…well then, what could be more lovely than that?
Just a small word about prayer since it often takes a beating in social media spheres (when folks too quickly equate prayer as the opposite of action).
Autumn’s Reminders to Let Go
Prayer is not passivity for me.
It is indeed energetic, powerful, mysterious, and rhythmic in my daily life. While many may pray when they reach the end of their resources and require help, it is possible (though perhaps challenging) to live in prayer as Jesus and saints before us did.
Paul talks about it in Philippians as an emptying, which makes so much sense to me. As I grow older and wiser, I find that emptying myself (in meditation for example or prayer) is a powerful surrender.
Oh these humble little leaves drifting from noble oaks have much to teach.
And even if you live in a land absent of seasons, surely nature is leading you by the hand to deeper truth too.
Learning to Recognize the Sacred
Because in my experience (as Paula D’Arcy has wisely said), God comes disguised as your own life.
And not simply the shiny happy parts. All of it. The messy, complex, heartbreaking, painful bits too.
What do we do with God as He comes?
I don’t want to run away. And I find I must consistently get out of my own way to allow reality to be reality.
Secrets from a Seeker of Timeless Tranquility
Can I tell you a secret about an extraordinary moment experienced two months ago after a not-so-good doctor appointment when at 80-something pounds, I couldn’t see an end to the intense irritability from malnutrition?
On my long drive home alone from the appointment, my heart filled with warmth and light, in a fresh way I had never known.
What angel souls were praying? I tried to reconcile what was happening. Why was I so calm and devoid of fear?
It only took a minute to recognize it.
JOY. Pure and tender effervescent joy without hoopla, without balloons, without an explanation.
Not sure this makes any sense to you.
But gentle peace bubbled up into consciousness as the most lovely, consoling, delicious champagne for the soul.
Sometimes When You Lose, You Win
If my health improves…yay!
And if my health continues to decline…I’ll welcome it too.
I’m no masochist; but I have learned to let go of the old to make space for the new. I have already grown old with the wonderful man who loves me; with children who have become best friends.
There was this brilliant, glowing, knowing that I COULD NOT LOSE. Have you experienced such a flame?
Its intensity simply could not be denied by rational resistance.
I phoned two of my people to celebrate the bubbles.
(By now I know that if I don’t claim or rehearse these moments, the supernatural consolations fade quickly from memory. And I also know that mystics more spiritually-evolved might tell me to zip it and to ignore consolations which may be created by my very own ego.)
I don’t know much of anything at all, but I wonder if this knowing is the gift of holy indifference. Because…oh my, the freedom it bestows!
All is Calm
I am going to be just fine, whether healing stays or healing goes; come what may, cure or no cure.
Because Grace has taught my heart to sing. And Love is alive and moving through me like an invisible eternal current.
So let the strong winds blow. Let them carry me, a holy fool and architect of Cinderella pumpkin breakfast altars. Carry this seeker of the timeless and the tranquil over this present valley. Let me, a trusting little oak leaf, pirouette imperfectly through autumn air.
p.s. If you have a moment, I wrote an update on my health/spiritual journey HERE, and you can enjoy a bit more inspiring serene calm fall color in this story spotlighting talented stylists and bloggers.
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.
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