Fall has officially arrived, dear friends. We've torn September 23rd's page from the calendar (and all the remaining September days) and in my area there is an undeniable nip in the air.
Our temps have dropped, as well as quite a bit of water lately, and leaves are strewn about the ground - let's say an "area rugs" worth, but soon enough it will resemble wall-to-wall shag carpeting, as that's what this season's decorating tastes fall to.
It's a bittersweet time, as I've always loved autumn, but since losing my Zacky, this time of year is understandably difficult for me.
I can't pretend to write to you today in a jovial, upbeat manner, so instead of attempting gaiety, I'm going to share an excerpt of a column written for The Manchester Guardian newspaper in the fall of 1840, by a contributing editor identified only as "Alison".
It speaks so eloquently and profoundly of this season, a "time of solemn and serious thought." I'm certainly identifying with the sentiment, and I felt that perhaps it would resonate with many of you too:
There is an "even-tide" in the year - a season when the sun withdraws his propitious light - when the winds arise, and the leaves fall, and nature around us seems to sink into decay. It is said to be the season of melancholy; and if by this word be meant that it is the time of solemn and serious thought, it is undoubtedly the season of melancholy; yet it is a melancholy so soothing, so gentle in its approach, and so prophetic in its influence, that they who have known it feel, as if instinctively, that it is the doing of God.
A few days ago, and the summer of the year was grateful, and every element was filled with life, and the sun of heaven seemed to glory in his ascendant. He is now enfeebled in his power; the desert no more "blossoms like the rose;" the song of joy is no more heard among the branches; and the earth is strewed with that foliage which once bespoke the magnificence of summer.
The full essay is quite a bit longer, and I've posted the entire column on my website. If you'd like to read more, go HERE.
October Book Club | Incredibull Stella
by Marika Meeks & Elizabeth Ridley
BUY Incredibull STELLA
Unconditional love is life-changing and life-saving. My book club pick for October, Incredibull STELLA, by Marika Meeks and Elizabeth Ridley, is the story of just such a love between a woman struggling to find her way back to joy and a rescue pup that will show her the path.
Marika Meeks, a busy, active entrepreneur, wife and mom, was struggling after recovering from extensive treatments to battle Stage 3 breast cancer, which involved a long extended stay from her family; husband Brian, and her two teenaged girls.
Although the treatments had been deemed a “success” and Marika was now cancer free, she felt as though the experience had robbed her of her vital essence. Fatigued physically and mentally, and feeling an emotional strain between her husband and children, Marika wondered if she’d ever be whole again!
Years before, Marika had wanted a dog, but she’d had three less than positive experiences. The pups she’d adopted and tried to embrace as family members had behavioral issues that neither her or her first husband were able to correct or live with. When she agreed to marry her second husband, Brian, one of his conditions was that they would not have dogs… so why were her thoughts returning over and over again to having a canine companion?
Would she have to convince Brian? Would her request put added stress on a marriage that had already endured so much throughout her diagnosis and treatment? As it turns out, not so much. Brian was committed to Marika and seeing her enthused about something - even pet adoption - made him want to support her.
There were a few rocky starts to finding the perfect companion. Marika fell in love a few times only to find out the mutts that had won her heart were not available for adoption, but then in walked “Shirley” a pup that had been abandoned along a dessert road-side. Upon first meeting, this little girl rolled over on her back and begged for a belly-rub. It was pretty much love at first site for Marika, and it wasn’t long before Shirley had won over Brian and the girls.
Shirley, of course, became Stella, and over her happy countenance, puppy high-jinx, and overall lovable character, this family re-bonded, and Marika regained meaning and purpose in her life. I’ve always loved dogs and especially my rescue mutts that make the farm a furry and friendly place. Many a sad moment have I clutched and cried into a beloved’s fur and received nothing but pure, nonjudgemental love in return. I’m so glad Marika was able to find her spirit once again through Stella’s love.
This is a fantastic book and I think that any reader will become a fan of Stella, Marika, and their family, but I think you’ll especially love it if you’re a dog-nut like me!
Pick up your copy of Incredibull STELLA HERE
* The publisher has given me a generous stack of this book to give away. Would you like one? Write to me at D@Delilah.com and tell me why! I'll send a book to the first emails I receive, until I'm all out!
Craft | Dried Hydrangeas
Do you have hydrangeas in your landscape? I have many of these beautiful blue blossomed bushes (and some white and some pink) in and around the farm, and this is the perfect time to pluck the round heads of blooms and dry them so that you can enjoy them year-round.
You know the time is right when the blooms begin to turn color and start to look a bit "vintage" while still on the bush.
I've created a full blog about the steps needed to create beautiful, lasting, dried arrangements on Delilah.com - take a look and then go out and pick a bouquet or two!
"Every unkind passion falls with the leaves that fall around us; and we return slowly to our homes and to the society which surrounds us, with the wish to only enlighten or to bless them."
Welcome to autumn, welcome to October; I hope the month and season are full of wonderful times, and people, and things for you. Thank you for your presence and your kindness and your unwavering faith in me.