Saturday, October 22, 2011


Autumn. The season of noticing.
The drama of the leaves
draws die-hard peepers, their senses
stirred by both the artistry and the
smell of decay.
The air shifts from damp and dense
to crisp and dry, knitting sweaters and
hats as if by magic.
Pumpkins, piled onto porches and
spilling down stairs, signal the end of
long summer nights.

But look.
Two glittery goblins in gossamer garb
float next to a trellis cloaked in overblown roses.
Golden marigolds and burnt orange bittersweet
dance in watery sunlight beside pastel snapdragons
and the last of the impatience.
Begonias, bursting with waxy red blossoms,
Stand proud in a patchwork of purple, wine
and rust-colored mums.
And beside a hiking trail, a bed of bright moss
cradles a colony of tiny brown acorns.

How comforting! To notice that this,
my favorite season, is not
just about
the death of everything.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

On Vacation

September seems to have vanished into thin air!

But it won't vanish from my memory anytime soon. Between the 17th and the 27th, Jim and I took a long-awaited and painstakingly-planned vacation to the "canyon lands" of Arizona and Utah. And it instantly became the holiday against which all holidays will be measured.

I made a last-minute--and uncharacteristic--decision to leave my laptop and my journal at home. At the time I said it was because my luggage was feeling terribly weighty and I needed to lighten my load.

Truthfully, it was my personal day-to-day that was weighing me down. My shoulders ached constantly, as if they were literally succumbing to the unseen pressure of responsibilities, obligations, and deadlines. So I took a friend's advice and packed only a small notepad and my camera.

It was the right decision. The camera captured everything that meant anything during our 1,200-mile trek through Sedona, Monument Valley, Boulder (UT), Bryce Canyon, Zion, and Vegas. The notepad contains directions to hidden hiking trails, the names of some decent restaurants in Kanab, and the answer to Jim's question, "So if you had to describe this trip in 10 words, what would they be?"

There really are no words to describe all that we saw and experienced. But for the record, here is the list we came up with together:


It will just have to do.