Giving Thanks

It’s Canadian Thanksgiving. The hills around our home are splotched in orange and red and gold; the palette of autumnal splendour. The sun burns white to the southeast and the sky is lined in wisps of silver, a veil to soften that burning light.

My studio window looks out over an almost naked birch, faintly adorned in the fading gold of last summer’s dress. Beyond it the valley gently falls and rises in a wave of glacial remembrance, golden light bouncing from burnished maple to burnished maple. The great celebration of life before the big winter sleep.

Autumn … the season of letting go; of surrender.

I surrender.

I am in the autumn of my life. The great letting go. Releasing the toxic need to be perfect; to please everyone; to be anyone other than myself.

I embrace my non-manicured working hands, toughened by hours of labouring on the farm. Hands calloused from mucking stalls and cleaning paddocks and raking grass. Stiff and sore from weed whacking almost every day all summer to keep the edges on 20 acres of paddocks tidy. Hands charged with gentle muscle memory from finessing my feel of the reins while training my feisty mare, Sophi. Hands no one would call pretty. My wedding rings are married to that finger now. These are working hands.

I am thankful.

My hair, burnished by summer’s sun, is at least four inches longer than it was in March. It falls idly down my back or gets tucked in a pony tail as it hasn’t done for years. It’s ever-longer layered mass is silvering, my own non-chemical ombre created with what remains of last March’s salon colour. Somehow I look more myself than ever with this messy, care-free mop.

I am thankful.

The summer of Covid was harsh and yet kind. I’m down two dress sizes and fit from all the hours of farm labour. I sleep well. My health is more resilient. My mind is clear. My spirit buoyed. I have felt no need, nor desire, to be exposed to situations that might compromise that. I know what debilitating illness feels like. Adrenal fatigue is an ever-present ghost prompting me not to take unnecessary chances. I listen ~ for my own sake and for the safety of those around me. I feel healthier than I have in years.

And I am thankful.

The months have seen the passage of many people out of my life as they negotiate these unprecedented times in their own way. And yet I have also been gifted with new friends who choose to travel this path of uncertain times with like heart and mind. Supportive in spirit and community. On the farm with the horses this is important. We help one another so together we thrive.

And I am thankful.

Our journey through the pandemic these past few months has endured its own challenges, but we have chosen the path of faith over fear; of gratitude over greed. To experience the joy while honouring the sorrow. Some days are easier than others, still the intention is to thrive not merely survive. And so it is. Solution-oriented rather than problem solving. There is a difference.

And so, I give thanks for all that is. For a big-hearted caring husband of integrity who loves me; for family and good friends who support me; and for a plethora of four-legged furry kids who keep my feet firmly planted on the ground.

For Canada, the country I call home, I give thanks.

We cannot know the end from the beginning. We can only determine our attitude as we negotiate the path and surrender to the experience of it. There is great power in letting go.

Be well.

Happy Thanksgiving …

Dorothy

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©Dorothy E. Chiotti … All Rights Reserved 2020 … Aimwell CreativeWorks

Free Write Friday: Fall Word Bank … The Season of Senses

It’s Free Write Friday and this week Kellie Elmore has issued a word bank challenge.

Deposited in the bank this week are:

foliage – amber – wicker – aroma – sweater – cocoa

And here’s my free write ramble, lightly edited …

The Season of Senses

Mirabel stepped off the front porch step to the pebbled path way and stopped. She took a deep breath and held it for a moment, and then released. The air was bright with the sharp scent of rain-drenched foliage. It was a heady fragrance, filling her with a sense of gratitude for another summer past and the fullness of life represented by autumn.

Summer’s last gasp, she liked to call it, shooting flames of colour through the woods. “Remember me! Remember me!” the dying season seemed to say. A canopy of amber, crimson, rust foretelling the arrival of a season of frigid dormancy.

Amber Canopy

Winter wasn’t Mirabel’s thing. She preferred long rides on her horse through the withering woods, with the crunch of freshly, fallen leaves beneath Cally’s hooves; the sparkle of sunlight scoring through baring branches; and the soft, warm fragrance of the dying summer flooding her senses.

Autumn was the season of senses.

She stretched her arms out to the side like a flying bird and tilted her head up to the sky, closing her eyes as if to take in the changing season even more deeply. To feel its dampness on her skin; hear the call of migrating geese in her ears; smell the sweet decay of summer’s rotting blooms. She could almost taste it so heightened were the flavours of fall by remnants of rain.

Rain.

A drop here. A drop there. On her forehead; her eye lids; her cheeks; the back of her outstretched hands. She opened her eyes. It was true. The spit-fall of rain drops had started again.

She turned and climbed the stairs to the covered porch and settled into her wicker rocking chair. Pulling her favourite Arran sweater tighter about her to ward off the damp chill, she observed the rainy scene for some time before realizing that what she really wanted, right now, was for someone to bring her a lovely hot mug of cocoa.

“Ben, honey …!”

~*~

Thanks for visiting …

Dorothy

free-write-friday-kellie-elmore

~*~

©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2013