Posted in Air, Autumn, Change, Death, Earth, Eastern Shore, Endings, Exploring, Fire, Friends, Gifts, Life, Maryland, Mindfulness, Nature, Photography, Portals & Pathways, Quotes, Sky, Spirit, Walking & Wandering, WeekendCoffeeShare, Wonder

If we were having coffee: End of season

Spirits in the sky.
Spirits in the sky.

On its outer surface time is vulnerable to transience. Regardless of its sadness or beauty, each day empties and vanishes. In its deeper heart, time is transfiguration. Time minds possibility and makes sure that nothing is lost or forgotten. That which seems to pass away on the surface of time is in fact transfigured and housed in the tabernacle of memory.

~ John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

Berries in the thicket.
Berries in the thicket.

If we were having coffee, tea, or any of a host of other beverages, it would be lovely to see you again.  Come on in!  Let’s go to the kitchen to have our coffee, tea, or whatever you’d like to drink.  There are snacks, too.  Hummus, pita, vegetables, pickles, olives, and a plate of freshly fried green tomatoes.  M cooked them up for lunch.  For many years we used my mother’s fried green tomato recipe which was very simple.  Dredge the green tomato slices in a mixture of flour, salt, and pepper, fry in some oil until golden brown, and then sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  A couple of years ago M came up with his own variation which includes a little cornmeal and adding the parm to the flour-cornmeal mixture.  The cornmeal and cheese add a bit more crunch.

Let's have a seat on the dock.
Let’s have a seat on the dock.

Help yourself, and when we finish in the kitchen, let’s head outside for a walk through the woods and out to the dock.  I have some to-go cups we can use if you’d like to take your beverage with you.  It’s a little cool so you’ll need a jacket or a sweatshirt, but there is plenty of sunshine to keep us warm as we sit on the bench on the dock watching the tide come in or go out.  I’m not sure which it will be.  I haven’t been paying attention to the tides today.

Tall and lanky.
Tall and lanky.

How are you?  What have you been up to lately?  Have you traveled anywhere?  Visited with friends and/or family?  Gone on any good walks or hikes?  Gotten lost or found or both?  Have you read any good books or seen any good movies?

Under the sassafras.
Under the sassafras.

I think I’ve been through a couple of books since our last coffee chat, and the last movie I was watched was The Punk Singer, a documentary about Kathleen Hanna, an activist and musician, lead singer of the punk rock band Bikini Kill.  She is the original “riot grrrl.”  It’s a good film.  I think I found it through a list of twenty films every woman (or was that feminist?) should see.

Fiery colors.
Fiery colors.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you some sad news, something I’ve been having trouble putting into words because I’m still in shock.  A good, much-loved friend, G, died suddenly last Sunday morning.  M and G have been friends since they were tots (4-years-old), and M was his best man when G married J.  (Apologies for the alphabet soup.  I’m not good at assigning other names to people.)  G would have been best man at our wedding except he was unable to attend (duty and distance interfered).  I have not known G and his wife as long as M has, only 40 years to his 50+, but I’ve come to love them too.  We, and many others, have been reeling (heartbroken) from the loss of this wonderful man — son, brother, husband, father, friend, musician, and so much more.  There will be two services for him, one in the state where he was born and grew up, and one in the state he made his home.  We will be attending both.  We did get a chance to stop by and sit with J, G’s wife, on the day he died.  My heart goes out to her, to their daughter, to G’s family.

The branches will be bare soon.
The branches will be bare soon.

If we were having coffee, tea, or something else to drink, I would change the subject before I begin to cry, and tell you about the gardens which are winding down for the season.  We picked what might be the last of the ripe tomatoes, and I put one in a salad we had for lunch today.  I cut the tomato and before sliding it into the salad, I picked up a small piece and put it in my mouth.  The flavor was concentrated, as if all of summer had ripened into that one juicy, delicious tomato.  It was a burst of goodbye, a flare of farewell until-we meet-again in another season.

Muted.
Muted.

The zinnias and the morning glories have continued to hang on in spite of a couple of frosts.  The butterflies have gone wherever they go this time of year.  I did see a dragonfly sunning himself today which was a surprise.  We haven’t had a freeze yet, and that’s allowed the vegetables to keep going for a while.  The Swiss Chard is in it’s glory, enjoying the cooler temperatures, and we have been eating that quite frequently.  I keep thinking I should put in some kale and spinach.  Maybe some lettuce.  But haven’t had the energy to get around to it this week.

Still flowering here and there.
Still flowering here and there.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you that M and I are planning to go hiking tomorrow to do a little leaf peeping here on the Eastern Shore.  The colors here seem muted in comparison to what we saw up in the Poconos of Pennsylvania a few weeks ago, but that doesn’t detract from their beauty.  I think we’ll go hiking somewhere around the Pocomoke River, but a final decision hasn’t been made yet.  There is a pond in one of the state parks that I love to visit in the fall when the dogwoods and bald cypress trees are aflame with autumn colors.

A touch of red.
A touch of red.

If we were having coffee or tea or some other beverage, I would ask if you’d mind if we sit here quietly for a little while, and listen to the wind, the water, and the birds.

Another zinnia, before they're gone.
Another zinnia, before they’re gone.

If we were having coffee, I would thank you for visiting with me today.  Please feel free to stay awhile.  Sunset is at 5:59 PM this evening.  Maybe we’ll go down to the Point to watch.  You’re welcome to join us.  In the meantime, I need to scoot inside and start working on tonight’s dinner.  I have a big, beautiful bunch of broccoli rabe, and it takes a little while to wash it up and get it prepped for cooking.  We’ll have it with pasta, which is a favorite around here.

Looking up again.
Looking up again.

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

A ghost in the machine, an abstract. (I'm not sure what this is. Showed up with the other photos I took today.)
A ghost in the machine, an abstract. (I’m not sure what this is. Showed up with the other photos I took today.)

This post is in response to Part Time Monster’s #WeekendCoffeeShare.  Thank you to Diana for hosting it.  Also, a big congratulations for the #WeekendCoffeeShare being featured on WordPress’s Daily Post.  So glad to see it being shared among the rest of the community!  Put the kettle on, start the coffee maker, open a bottle of wine, or whatever your preference is, and join us.  I’d love to hear all about what you were up to this week.

Crepe myrtle leaves.
Crepe myrtle leaves.
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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.

29 thoughts on “If we were having coffee: End of season

    1. Thank you, Lisa. 🙂 The sassafras has become one of my favorite trees in the fall. I still miss the sugar maples of the north, but the sassafras and bald cypress trees almost make up for it.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. So sorry about your friend- so very sad to lose someone suddenly like that. Your photos are all so beautiful- so crisp- I felt like I was there within in! The colors, the spirits in the sky- all truly beautiful. Thank you for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so sorry to hear of your friends passing and hope that the wonderful memories of times shared will help you at this time of grief and live on into the future, carrying a bit of him always in your heart.
    Your photos are gorgeous. Lovely fall colours that we don’t get here in the tropics. I hope you enjoy your planned walk. It will be nice to be outdoors before it gets too cold.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so very sorry about the sudden death of your friend. Sudden is always so difficult. Long drawn out is hard too..but sudden is such a shock. I’m sending good thoughts to you and to his family. Your photos are beautiful, as always. But that last one, the ghost…is very intriguing. Colors, shapes, it’s all truly different and beautiful. Perhaps fitting that it showed up this week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Dawn. 🙂 Yes, the sudden aspect of it makes it very difficult. I keep thinking about how fully G lived his life and that’s good, but the other thought that comes to mind is that he didn’t get a chance to retire and do all the things he planned for retirement.

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  4. I can feel your sadness, Robin, adjusting to loss is never easy and something that takes much time. Go easy on yourself and do nurturing things like that hike you’ve set up. Hope you have a beautiful day for it. Nature is the best healer.
    I love your descriptions of the ‘lasts’ of the season – tomatoes, broccoli rabe, the zinnias and dragonfly. Warmer days slip away and we find sunny pockets out of the wind to warm ourselves. Now with the clock change, night will come so much sooner. Time to hunker down and hibernate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Eliza. 🙂 It’s been a tough week, but you’re right about Nature. Yesterday’s hike was lovely and peaceful. It is so quiet around here during the off season, and we had the woods and trail to ourselves most of the time.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m so sorry for the sudden loss of your friend. That is an awful shock, and I know you and M will be grieving for quite a while.
    It seems funny to comment after that about the beauty of the colors of the brilliant leaves against the sky in your photos, and how I loved how you described the intense burst of flavor from the tomato as a saying goodbye to summer. Then again, perhaps seeing and savoring these moments is especially important when death comes calling. Hugs!

    (Also the fried green tomatoes sound delicious.) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Merril. 🙂 Life is funny that way, life and death all mixed together. I agree with you about seeing and savoring the beautiful moments. And thank you for the hugs. Much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m sorry you and yours are mourning the loss of such a good friend. Those are such difficult times to come to terms with.

    “…a burst of goodbye…” Wow! This bit of writing with the words surrounding it is exquisite! I think we all think we had come up with that wording.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Not wanting to cause a tear, I’ll reach out with a gentle squeeze on the shoulder and move on to see if we can find a smile or two. Can we take a coffee out to the dock please? I’m pretty short, if I sit with my knees at the edge and my feet swinging back and for over the end, will my toes stay dry? 😀
    I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel for smiles at the moment, Mum-in-law is battling the big ‘C’ again and Mum has had two knee replacements in the last few days and is taking longer than expected to recover.
    Tiny steps are the way to go for both for now.
    On a lighter note, I’ve got myself a new gadget. I love to watch films, but I really struggle with reading a book. Dyslexia runs rampant in our family and although I’ve managed to fudge and fake myself to this part of my life without having to wear a label, I’m lucky if the words on a page stay still long enough to reach a reading age of about thirteen. My new gadget reads the books to me.
    I’ve just finished listening to Agatha Christie’s “Cat among the pigeons”.
    We’ve got another wedding this month, Eldest Daughter is tying the knot in a couple of weeks… In the immortal words of Mrs Benet… “Three Daughters Married”.
    Can you guess which book I’m listening to next?
    Thanks for coffee, my toes don’t appear to be wet. As a little girl I was always getting told off for sitting in the table and swinging my legs back and for. “Tables are made for cups and glasses” was all my Dad used to say in the end, but I’d heard the last part of the saying so many times that we used to laugh at what came next anyway ” Not for little girl’s asses”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL! I’ve never heard that rhyme before, Sallyann. Thank you for making me laugh this morning. 🙂 I enjoyed the chat. Would it be Pride and Prejudice you’re reading next?
      I’m sorry to hear about your mum-in-law and your mum. I hope all goes well with them, and that all moves in a healing direction. Yes, tiny steps are best during these times.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Pride and Prejudice it is Robin, and good news from Mum, she’s walking on her two new knees on her own as far as the bathroom today. Catch you next weekend if I don’t manage to drop in again before. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  8. So sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. I thank you for the diversionary walk – I’m feeling very doomsday these days, praying that when the election ends I will feel we have a future, hoping we’ll all still be here for another election, hoping we’ll all be much more civil in the future, less reactionary, more open, honest communications – listening to one another without rancor.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. May your hopes come true, Carol. ❤ My feelings have been pretty similar, and I hope today turns out well. Otherwise, I’m stuck. Just checked my passport last night and found it had expired. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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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