Oh, friends. We are in a seasonal change, though we haven't felt it so much in this city we call home. It's been warm here, bright and sunny. That is, until this afternoon, when the fog came down in full force turning everything a deep shade of blue by 4pm. I've made it home safely and the teapot is on, and now I will admit it that winter seems to be knocking on our door.
We escaped a few weeks ago, high up into the Sierra Nevadas, to finally soak up some fall color and some chill. The valley floors were gold and bright and the high elevations are already covered in snow. Snow! I've missed you a little, snow. What a luxury you were, for a weekend.
We swam in snowmelt. We gasped and shook and sunned ourselves back to life on big slices of granite. We ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches like the good amateur campers we are. We shivered in our sleeping bags and built morning fires. Glorious, all around.
As the days get shorter I find myself making less and less. I suppose that's a lie - I just finished another gift cowl and started a new, excitingly simple quilt. But the early dark does make me long to get in bed when I get home, rather than pick up a project. I have been focused elsewhere; waking up early, rekindling a love affair with exercise, trying to find the right time for meditation practice. I have been focused more on self, these days, I suppose.
It's been a good shift. I keep hinting about some big reveal, but the truth is it's not coming - at least not yet. I have been focused for the last year on launching a small online store, something simple and clean and beautiful. Peddling handmade objects, mostly bedding - crib size, queen size, in between. Hoping to make pillows, as well. And of course, there's ceramics, but that is a dream for a few years in the future, if we ever buy a house with room for a little backyard pottery studio, aka, a re-purposed garage or shed? Big dreams, friends.
But the combination of other obligations has kept me from achieving my goals in a timely manner. I know that I could do more - I could sleep less, and cook less, and cut out other activities. But the truth is that for me, balance is so important; my health, physically emotionally and mentally, are dependent on balance. Sleep is paramount for me, and I need lots of it. Exercise makes me happy to be alive. Cooking clean, whole, healthy delicious exciting foods is both rewarding and in my opinion, necessary. Running away for a stolen weekend in the Yosemite wilderness is Important, with a capital I. All these things take time, and recently, I have been more than happy to give them that time, though it has been at the expense of my little online shop dream.
As you know if you've been here before, I have a day job. Your standard pay-the-bills, need-health-insurance day job. It's not a terrible job. But I hope someday to spend my waking hours doing something more meaningful to my heart - which undoubtedly means, something with my hands. In the mean time I have to learn to not beat myself up for being unable to accomplish everything at once.
No matter how short life is, I just don't believe it could be harmful to live it slowly.
It's good to go sleep out by a river for a few nights.
*Many of these beautiful photos are Kai's, of course. You can find more on his lovely blog.