A Farewell to Autumn

As autumn reaches its end and the last leaves slowly flutter to the ground, I thought I would share a few more photos of autumn’s beauty…

 

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“Autumn…”

“…The year’s last, loveliest smile.” William Cullen Bryant

I have always loved autumn. All four seasons have something beautiful to offer, but for some reason, autumn holds something special for me. Growing up I didn’t always live somewhere with four proper seasons, which meant that for many years I didn’t get to enjoy a true fall. I was lucky to spend my first years as a kid playing in leaves and watching the beautiful fall colors in Wisconsin…But I admit that I mostly remember jumping into the leaves! After we left the U.S. it was quite a while before I saw a proper autumn again. Mexico and Sydney barely had fall and the Philippines definitely didn’t have those temperate seasons since it’s tropical… I had to wait several years before seeing four well-defined seasons and my beloved autumn once again.

When we moved to France, I rejoiced at being able to see and feel each individual season. They all had their time, they were not fleeting or melting together; they were four distinct seasons. And finally, I found autumn again. The colors lit me up inside and the crisp fall air made me want to laugh out loud, for no particular reason other than feeling so alive and so invigorated. And autumn does that to me every year. The years when fall isn’t so prominent or passes by quicker, I feel the absence and I long for that season I love so much.

Then three years ago my husband and I moved to New England, and I suddenly experienced autumn like I never had before. This is now our fourth autumn here and every year I am amazed by the beauty this season has to offer in this part of the world. Although I love fall, I do love all of the other seasons too and so it was always difficult for me to choose just one favorite season… But here in New England, it’s easy. Autumn is by far my favorite season here. None of the other seasons inspire me and invigorate me the way fall does. There is something so exhilarating about the crisp autumn air and the clear blue sky. The flowers in the spring are lovely and bright, but it’s hard to compete with the rich jewel tones of autumn leaves.

There’s something about this season that makes me want to explore and try new things. I want to write more, take more photos, see new parks, go for long walks and just be outside. I want to feel the cool air turning my cheeks pink, heading back inside with windswept hair and hands full of colored leaves. Then I want to sit down with a mug of hot chocolate or tea and watch the glow of the sun on the fiery trees.

Whether I got to see fall every year or not doesn’t matter. I get to experience it now and I intend to take advantage of every minute.

 

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Click for a bigger version – this small one just doesn’t do justice to how beautiful this scenery is…

“I loved autumn, the one season of the year that God seemed to have put there just for the beauty of it.” Lee Maynard

Ode to Autumn

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I have always loved all four seasons,

They each have their beautiful reasons.

But one stands out above them all,

My favorite and glorious fall.

 

Winter is biting and cold,

Hiding everything in its frosty hold.

Although a snowflake is magical to behold,

Its novelty soon becomes old.

 

Spring is a well of showers,

Followed by beautiful flowers;

But the pollen falls in powders,

Making me rue the spring hours.

 

Summer is golden and bright,

The sun setting with a glowing light.

Although it may seem just right,

After a while I long for the heat to take flight.

 

The autumn sky is clear and blue,

And the grass is damp with dew.

The trees know their cue

And begin to change their leaves anew.

 

I love winter’s sparkling white

And spring’s colorful delight.

I am warmed by summer’s golden light,

But I am exhilarated by autumn’s sight.

 

I have always loved all four seasons,

They each have their beautiful reasons.

But one stands out above them all,

My favorite and glorious fall.

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The Month of Change

When September comes around, with schools starting and autumn just around the corner, I can’t help but think about all of my Septembers as a TCK. Obviously the first thoughts that come to mind are all those times I was a new kid – like I mentioned in an earlier post. But then there are all sorts of other things that September was synonymous with, and I thought I would share some here…

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Lazy summer days roll into cool autumn nights,

As flocks of birds begin their migrating flights.

 

Notebooks, pens, pencils and other school supplies

Line the shelves all along the supermarket aisles.

 

Excitement, trepidation, laughter and tears…

Depending on whether the new year means facing friends or fears.

 

Leaves changing on the trees,

Fluttering in the early autumn breeze.

 

Red, orange, yellow and gold,

With autumn officially taking hold.

 

September is a month of change, of beginnings and ends,

In school, seasons and friends.

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A Girl, a Camera and Autumn…

As we wait to see just how bad “Frankenstorm” will be, as our good friend Sandy inches closer and closer, I thought I would share some more autumn photos. While waiting to experience the wrath of nature, I wanted to remind myself of the beauty of nature.

To everyone in the path of the storm – I hope you’re safe and my heart goes out to anyone who’s homes are affected.

I hope these can bring some sunshine and smiles to those under gray skies, pouring rain and heavy wind…And fingers are crossed that we don’t lose power!

Seasons of Change – 2012

Autumn has often felt like a time of reflection, maybe because it’s a season of change. Change in the weather from the hot, muggy days of summer, to the crisp, cool days of fall; change from lazy vacation days to the start of school, college and new projects. The leaves are ever-changing, from green to all possible shades of yellow, gold, orange and red. Two years ago we arrived here just as autumn was beginning, at the end of September, so it’s definitely a season of change and reflection for us.

There have been a lot of thoughts floating around inside my mind during these constantly changing autumn days, but I’ve had trouble finding how to put them in writing. They drift around, like the leaves dancing in the air; the difference is that the leaves find their way to the ground, whereas my words are having trouble finding their way to paper. I’ve been in a pensive phase, as I often find myself at this time of year – it must be both the change in seasons and the approach of another year’s end. I reflect on everything that has happened during this year so far, and on how things have been these past years since we moved back to the U.S. It’s been a time of growth and learning for us, in so many ways. It hasn’t always been easy, but each struggle, each obstacle only made us stronger and more adaptable for the future. I’ve also been thinking of some of the things I’ve accomplished in our time here, because I think I sometimes forget what I’m capable of and to be proud of myself for what I’ve achieved so far.

I started my blog, something that would have never happened without the unwavering, rock-solid support of my wonderful husband. Starting a blog was a huge accomplishment for me and something I never thought I would do. I have always loved to write and to suddenly have a way to share my writing was amazing. But I wasn’t prepared for how much I would love blogging or for the overwhelming, kind and motivating support I would receive from the blogging community. My blog allowed me to improve my writing, to explore my love of photography and to communicate with people all over the world. The best part is reading comments where someone relates to what I’ve written – that’s what matters most to me, and I love when readers share their stories with me. I’m always excited to post something new but my favorite part is seeing the responses to something I have written and to feel connected on such a global level.

Something I wrote was published: two articles so far (I mentioned the first in my post Published, and the second has recently come out here). This particular accomplishment is really a milestone for me. It’s incredible to have a chance to do something I love and to have it published in a magazine. It’s all the more exciting because it’s a magazine that is made for (and by) TCKs, expats and travelers. You can see a preview of the 2nd article in the newest issue here, and you can learn more about the magazine on their website and in a previous post. These years have been filled with writing and accomplishing amazing things with my writing. I hadn’t written much for a few years and having my blog and articles published has given me goals to strive for with my writing.

In a non-writing area, in these past years I’ve settled in a new place, far away from my family and from everything familiar. I’ve done that without having a regular routine, like a job or school, which would allow me to meet people and find a structure to my days. This was the first move my husband and I did as a couple; a first leap into continuing our TCK lives as adults. That’s not a negligible accomplishment, but somehow I always seem to overlook it because moving someplace new and adapting was always a part of our lives. Yet I realize that all the other times I was in school or college; this time was a very different experience, but one I’m nonetheless happy to have. Every move allows you to grow as a person and to learn more about yourself. I know that may sound clichéd, but it’s true. This particular move has been a huge growing and learning experience for me. I realized that even after many years of being in the same place and not having to move, I’m still so resilient and adaptable. I’ve learned a lot about myself and about how much being a TCK shaped me and my outlook on life. I’ve also grown more aware than ever that I’m an adult TCK, which I mentioned in a recent blog post. Growing up we were somewhat aware of what we were getting from the TCK lifestyle, but only in these past years have I realized how much of an impact that life has had on us as adults. For all the difficulties it might present, I’m grateful to be an adult third culture kid because it’s given me the strength to take on any challenge and to overcome any obstacles, no matter where life leads me.

When I started preparing a blog post today, I had been planning on only posting some pictures I had taken of the beautiful autumn colors, accompanied by a few simple words. But it turns out I had more than a few words to say. Oddly enough, some parts of this post were written a couple of weeks ago, but they were in a post that would have been very unlike this one, and in a very different frame of mind. I’m in a much better place today – still reflective, but positively so. I know that things don’t always go according to plan, but a lot of times the unexpected path just leads to something better. If I had found or followed a ‘traditional’ path in certain aspects, it’s unlikely I would have started this blog or had articles published. Planning for the road ahead is always good, but you never know when a loop, fork or dead-end will show up on the path. When that happens, we just need to learn to see it as an opportunity to move forward down a new path and not as a roadblock that causes us to backtrack. It’s easier to believe that when things are going well and you’re in an optimistic mood – find me on a bad day, and I might disagree with myself. But I’ve been through so many changes in my life: by the time I was 18 and finished with high-school I had lived in 6 countries on 4 different continents. The changes didn’t end there, whether it was about where I went to university, the language I studied in, or the latest move back across the Atlantic Ocean from Europe to the U.S. I know change. I know how hard, heart-breaking and devastating it can be, but I also know how enriching and empowering it can be.

I both dread and welcome change. I am afraid of not being able to handle it, but I know that ultimately I’ll be able to deal with whatever is thrown my way. It’s part of growing up as a TCK – you learn very early on that change is a huge part of life, and it’s going to happen, whether you like it or not. You have to take it as it comes and make the best of the change, otherwise you’ll be miserable. TCKs realize very quickly that our whole life is made up of change and of adapting. It’s important to see the good side of the change and to know that no matter how hard it can be, it will make you so much stronger once you overcome it.

Adult third culture kid, pensive and reflective in the season of change, signing off.

The Autumn Battle

The raindrops fall from the sky, running down the roof tiles and hanging on the bare branches. The gentle pitter-patter is a steady, soothing rythm.

Most of the trees are naked now, but autumn has not yet exhaled its final breath. Flashes of gold and red still stand out against the gray, the last valiant warriors in a losing battle.

The air is getting colder, and night creeps upon us on earlier and earlier, but I am not upset at winter’s stealthy approach.

Every season fills me with a different kind of a joy, with a newfound excitement for what that season brings.

So for now I’ll enjoy those last autumn battles, those final flames sputtering under the cold rain, fighting to stay alight.

But when winter comes to call and the trees are shivering in their bare branches, waiting for their sparkling white blanket, I will welcome and embrace it.