Posted in Autumn, Beginnings, Change, Earth, Eastern Shore, Exploring, Fire, Gifts, Gratitude, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Quotes, Spring, Walking & Wandering, Weather

The grace of autumn

Late bloomers
Late bloomers

One of the noblest words in our language is “grace,” defined as “unearned blessing.”  We live by grace far more than by anything else.  Accordingly, I find that the one thing which I want to put into practice in my own life is the conscious and deliberate habit of finding someone to thank.

~ Elton Trueblood

The meadows are dressing in autumn colors.
The meadows are dressing in autumn colors.

I love the word “grace.”  It’s always been on my list of favorite words.  Grace is my youngest granddaughter’s middle name.  Picking Grace as a middle name was serendipitous, in a way, since neither my son nor my daughter-in-law know that grace is a word I adore.

Hiding in the meadow
Hiding in the meadow

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, “grace” has at least eight definitions ranging from “unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification” to “a musical trill, turn, or appoggiatura.”  Grace can be a prayer said before a meal, an ease of movement, or an act of kindness.

Grace is the way an oak leaf lets go of the tree and floats to the ground.  Grace is the honeybee gathering pollen from the goldenrod and morning glories.  Grace is a rabbit bounding into the meadow to hide.  I am not the epitome of grace (in fact, I am well known for my klutziness and ability to trip over my own feet), but I do find grace in my daily walks and the movement of this wonderful body that allows me to experience life through the senses I have been given.  Grace is the strength and health I should never take for granted.

Good cheer
Good cheer

The Three Graces (also called The Charities) of Greek mythology, daughters of Zeus and Eurynome, are Aglaia (Splendor), Euphrosyne (Mirth), and Thalia (Good Cheer).  According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, the name Charis (Greek) or Gratia (Latin) refers to the “pleasing” or “charming” appearance of a fertile field or garden, and they were considered goddesses of fertility.

Sea myrtle in the meadow
Graceful branches of a sea myrtle in the meadow

Ted Andrews, in his book “Animal Speak,” describes meadows as “places of soft and silent growth,” that can teach how to “add fertility and nourishment to your own life.”  Perhaps The Graces are residing in the meadows at this time of year when the flowers of autumn bloom and the flowers of summer have transformed themselves into seeds and berries, broadcasting their life and wisdom to future generations.

At the edge of the pond where trees and grasses meet.
At the edge of the meadow and the pond where trees and grasses meet.

Today, on this second day of the 100 Days of Gratitude Challenge, I am grateful for the grace of autumn, for the gifts of bounty and nourishment brought to us through fall’s harvest, for the blessing of cooler temperatures after the harsh heat and humidity of summer, and for the way this season teaches me how to age gracefully and with a blaze of light and color.

Early Autumn reflections.  (Reflections in the pond, flipped.)
Early Autumn reflections. (Reflections in the pond, flipped.)

I am grateful for walks in the meadows where I can watch the butterflies, listen to the rustle of the grasses and the buzzing of the bees, and take in the dry scents of leaves and earth.  (I am not so grateful for the sudden swarm of mosquitoes that have appeared over the past week or two, but I suppose they have their place in life and will try to be grateful for that.)

Early Autumn reflections II.
Early Autumn reflections II.

And I am grateful for you.  Thank you for visiting today, and walking through the meadows and around the pond with me.  The rains will be here soon, and even though it will mean more mowing and a lot of sogginess, I’m thankful for it.  It’s been dry, as usual for this time of year, and every bit of rain is appreciated.

A perfect rose
A rose for you.

Be good, be kind, be loving.  Just Be.  🙂

I know these roses look odd, but I kind of like it.  This is almost straight out of the camera.  I resized and tweaked the contrast a bit.
I know this image of roses looks a little odd, but I like it. This is almost straight out of the camera. I resized and tweaked the contrast a bit.  I overexposed the shot when I took it, and it caused this interesting, almost cross-processing effect.
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Author:

Robin is a photographer, artist, writer, wife, sometime poet, mom, grandma, daughter, sister, friend, and occasional traveler currently living on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She finished a 365 commitment to get outside every day in 2011, and has turned it into a lifelong commitment taking one or more walks each day. Robin will continue to share her walks through her words and images on Breezes at Dawn. Older posts can be found at Life in the Bogs, her previous blog. Robin and her husband are in the midst of renovating the house and property they refer to as the Wabi-Sabi Ranch, 35 acres that include marsh, a dock on a tidal creek, meadows, and woodlands. Every day brings new discoveries.

18 thoughts on “The grace of autumn

  1. What a beautiful post today, Robin. Late summer/early fall is the perfect time to reflect on “grace” and appreciation for our many blessings. Your photos capture its beauty and magic so beautifully. We have one, last, gorgeous burst of beauty before the cold settles in for the next several months. What a gift! Best wishes, WG

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful photos, which I recognised as you as soon as I saw them in my reader. You have such a graceful style of photography and processing, and I love the beautiful way you have woven facts, myths and nature into one wonderful post 🙂

    Like

  3. Beautiful post, Robin. I too, like the image of the red roses. Looks very creative to me. I don’t know anything about cameras though. Thank you for joining me on a gratitude journey. You are great company. 🙂

    Like

  4. Grace was my Nana’s middle name…. Lillian Grace, so the word itself always makes me smile.
    My Neice is no dancer, but has Grace as her middle name too… Born on a Tuesday, it would appear Tuesday’s child is full of grace after all. 🙂

    Like

Comments are delightful and always appreciated. I will respond when I can (life is keeping me busy!), and/or come around to visit you at your place soon. Thank you!

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