Fall may not begin until September 23, but this past weekend we got a beautiful preview in Chicago. The leaves are hinting at yellow, the air is cool and almost sharp, and the honeycrisp apples have hit the farmers market. It’s almost the season of cider and pie, crunching leaves and all things plaid. My favorite season, the one that always seems to rush off early and leave us in the clutches of winter.
Wait, it isn’t winter yet, so let me back that up:
While it feels like summer ended too fast, I love all things autumnal, and I want to savor this season for as long as possible. That means lots of time outside: picnics, hikes, day trips to Wisconsin or the suburbs, and the usual strolls through the neighborhood. This weekend, that meant walking around the Lakeview East Festival of the Arts, stopping by the farmers market, and spending a couple hours at a breathtaking farm while the sun went down.
As usual, all that fresh air and walking was great for coming up with ideas. (IOU Love Your Body Resolution posts, times ten.) What it wasn’t so good for? Sitting down and actually writing. Like so many things that I know are good for me, writing gets shafted in favor of things that are easier, or that feel more pressing.
So I thought that sitting down and making a gratitude list might be a good way to chip away at this pesky writer’s block–focusing on gratitude seems to be a helpful response to most situations. What better way to welcome fall than with an early thanksgiving?
On this clear day, on which I watched an exquisite sunset and unpacked my Bean boots, I’m grateful for:
- Warm sweaters that are still going strong after 10 years.
- A steaming moka pot full of espresso, made with beans sent our way from a charming town I visited this summer.
- The USPS. It may not be perfect, but it brings the sweetest words my way.
- My raggedy journal (one of many) that’s been my on-again, off-again companion since high school French classes.
- Hours of conversation this past weekend.
- The ability to crochet, taught by my grandma, which means I will always have all the cowls I want, as well as something to do with my hands during marathons of The West Wing.
- Long walks through the city, through my hometown, and hopefully new destinations in 2015.
- A tried-and-true zucchini bread recipe from my roommate, waiting for me on the counter so I can unwind by baking a welcome gift for our neighbors this week.
- The gift of sight, and a lens that reveals miracles in the everyday.
- Friends and family, always.
This week, I’m looking forward to eating fried chicken, talking to my awesome mentor, making some enchiladas with J, and training a couple people at work. I hope your week is off to a wonderful start, too!