Thursday, November 17, 2011

November Simplicities

Late fall has its own aesthetic.  Today, for example, the sky is a unbroken slab of white.  The ground ranges from the dark green of our dead grass to the reddish-brown, yellow-brown, grayish-brown, and plain-old brown of the dead leaves.  There is the black, too, of the cold mud and a haziness to everything.  Even the people are wearing their seasonal earth-tones.

It isn't hard to slip into a contemplative mood when the world looks like this.  Holidays are--in part--an exercise in memory and nostalgia.  Thanksgiving is only a week away and I am remembering the years when we would go down to my grandparents' farm for the holiday.  I worked there most of the summer during high school so many of my memories are of toiling through various agricultural pursuits.  However, our November visit was somewhat more relaxed.  We would show up a day or two early and leave a day or two late with the Christmas tree strapped to the roof of our car.  The last Thanksgiving I celebrated at the farm was when I rushed back from seminary in Chicago.  My grandfather--who was born in the farmhouse--had died there a couple days before.

Maybe this is why I feel the need to be active and outdoors right now.  In those days we would knock around the barnyard or up into the Christmas trees (yes, we sold trees), returning only to shower, throw on a blazer, and eat.  Then we would go outdoors again.  Work, walks, and really sad looking football were the staple of our days.

Today I took the camera out to get some photographs for the church newsletter.  It is a weekly online publication and I like to drop a few pictures in there to make it more interesting.  I walked though the woods along the aqueduct and then over to the non-profit, organic, community farm.  It was nice to be there.  I think I did a good job of not getting in the way.

I captured quite a few images.  For reasons already mentioned, they were mostly inadequate.  They didn't translate well to the flat frame.  I kept trying to catch a picture of the falling leaves.  I have been thinking about them as I continue to drop those things in my life that provide me with undue complication.  I have written about this earlier, but it occurred to me that nature, itself, is releasing that which is unnecessary for these dark days.  It is good to know you are not alone, even if your only companions are trees. 

Of course, no one is ever completely alone in the 'burbs.  I bumped into some church people and their friends on their own explorations.  Also, as I wandered around, a yellow dog attached himself to me and eventually tried to follow me home.  When I brought him back to the farm I was reminded of the fact that--sometimes--the things that attach themselves to you--like goofy dogs--are OK.

Oh...and goats, too...

Here is the link to the earlier post I mentioned...

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