Monday, October 4, 2010

New Fall

The combines zig-zagged around us today, muddying up our air, leaving all of us feeling a bit exposed. It was nice, living in this corn hide-away for the Summer. I'm not one to protest an autumn field of copper soybeans, but the corn years -- the corn years circle 'round me like a three month hug.

It's harvest time, and I'm blanketed thick and woolly at the thought of wagons spilling grain, storing up for the months ahead. In every field, flanneled farmers do the march. Up, down. Up, down. We eat our cereal under the thrumming of their motors. We eat our soup and the droning comes near again.

This is Fall. This is new Fall.

Old Fall found us plunking down a twenty for mums that would inevitably die. Dropping pumpkin-colored candle thoughtlessly into the shopping cart. Trolling websites for cute & cozies that I would probably only wear on Sundays.

I never noticed the harvest song.

New Fall has me determined to wrap my arms around the things I already have, the things that are every bit as special and infinitely more unexpected.

It turns out, Fall can be felt even without mums flanking the sidewalk. I feel just as cozy in last year's socks. A good book is a good book, whether bought or borrowed.

So, Fall is finding hand-me-down kicks, just in the nick of time.

Fall is pepper plants that just won't quit.

Fall is a long-forgotten decal that emerged in the rush of a house showing cleaning frenzy.

I'm spending my evenings bundled up, putting soup on the menu for three nights out of five. The air around us slows and I scratch that baking itch.

The truth is, this search for contentment is not quaint or idyllic. Those catalogs I canceled all of those months ago still show up like clockwork and I should be so wise to toss them in the can, pages unbent. But I take a peek, of course I do. I quick-count in my head. Oh, the damage I could do with just a hundred dollars!

But for reasons I still can't articulate, now is not the time for a shopping spree. I'm sure that day will come around again. I'll not be a forever-stranger to new boot socks or a frivolous Yankee jar.

Today, right now, I know that this is right. It is right to feel my Fall in a brand new way. It's right for me to look closer at gifts that can't be bought. It's right for me to bake muffins in my kitchen with the windows cracked open just enough for me to hear the song of the season.


  1. Gorgeous post. I want the fall you describe.

  2. You are an artist with words, painting pictures that come to life inside my head as I read. You truly are a wordsmith of the best kind. I want to move right into your fall!

  3. This post was beautiful, but not as beautiful as the label of gratitude beneath it. Gratitute indeed.

  4. I like your new Fall...

    I think if your new Fall turns into your new Winter and a new the time your new Summer and that good ol Fall rolls around again it won't feel so 'new.' It will just be the norm.

  5. the harvest song...

    corn crops hugging you...

    scratching the baking itch...

    how i love thee. :)

  6. Dave Ramsey? That joker ruined Yankee Candles for me forevah! LOL Just kiddin'... I really enjoyed your post.

  7. Thank you for these words! You make new fall so very cool.

  8. It is ten o'clock at night and the muffins just came out of the oven. The tomatoes are ripening in a box on my counter, and I too am feeling that catalogues are best unopened. Sometimes it is in the things we do not have that we find the things we need.

  9. I want to be you when I grow up. There I said it...but I keep thinking I have said that before.

    You ever so poetically articulate what I have brewing under my skin and within my soul.


  10. beautiful! I want that fall too!

  11. this is my fall too...although not quite so beautifully said. your writing is indeed a gift. both yours to do it and mine to read it.

  12. We too can hear the combines all around us and I am getting lots of mileage out of mums that I planted several years ago.....they are now huge!

    My new fall is in many ways like yours. I find that I am so very thankful and content with the things that I have and don't think much about the things that aren't within my reach.

    Love your posts!

  13. Nobody say's it better!
    I've said time and time again, that the recession is teaching us all long lost lessons. Out of all bad, comes good. When you have an extra $20 I will take you shopping w/me for a new wardrobe!

  14. Nice!!

    I say it with the rest; you are an amazing artist of words. I too, had to think "Dave Ramsey" - but that's great and okay. I know what it's like to relish in the new look to a season where the old was nothing but "a fall".

    Gratitude is the greatest antidote to jealousy.

    It sounds like you have learned "in whatsoever state/season I am in, I have learned to be content" ~Philippians 4:11.

    What a great post this morning... thank you!

  15. Yes, your fall is the best kind of fall....that is the one I want too.

  16. I love this! As its so easy to get wrapped up in things we want instead of enjoying what we already have.

  17. I'm with you on the soup, but why do you keep dissing mums? Don't be a hater. I'm loving mine, about to send you a pic of them. They are making me SO happy and a good $20 investment for me, if even for a month! ;)

  18. Now tell did you get to be such a talented writer? We don't read this good anywhere else!!!
    I'm gonna read it again :)

  19. It does have a lovely tune, I must say.
    Raining here today - my window is also cracked and I am much enjoying the pitter patter of droplets on my blue and mauve awnings...
    My dreamy day gets interrupted by Pauly asking, "What's that smell!?", embarrassed to say it isn't the smell of sweet precipitation... it's Daphnie, the stinker. Lol!

    Happy Day, Lovey ~ The Lady of the House

  20. Your way of putting thoughts in writing is captivating.

    As I struggle against thoughtless wants, knowing that I'm not alone makes it a bit easier.

    Keep embracing the beauty without all of the coordinating ready made accessories!

  21. Again, you've echoed my heart.

  22. I am so WITH YOU : ) !!
    Especially this month,
    as I'm boycotting THINGS
    made in China. I'm
    actually thinking about
    every item that goes into
    the cart...reading labels...
    and better yet, NOT buying,
    but savoring and repurposing.
    I just re-discovered my
    rubber stamps....and my
    muffin tins...and walks
    through crisp leaves and a
    stolen hour reading a book.
    Thanks for reminding us to
    look beyond the things....
    xx Suzanne
    PS: LOVED your last post.
    Ruby is gorgeous and sounds
    like she is just as beautiful
    on the inside.

  23. How did you know that was what I have been thinking and feeling? However, I must admit that I haven't been embracing this new fall so easily, I want to....but the old fall keeps beckoning me! Thank you for putting our shared life story into such beautiful words, it was the encouragement I needed this morning! I wish I could be consistent with my contentment!

  24. i wondered over from Annie's blog where you left kindness & encouragement.
    siiiiiiiiigh, you are making me loooong for a country life.
    very excited to follow along and learn more about your sweet family and take in your rythmic words.

  25. I was just thinking the other day about how i used to plunk done the money to have cornstalks, hay bailes, mums, pumpkins, and all kinds of fall on my porch. I, too, am experiencing a New Fall. The new fall comes with a New Me. The me that is allowing God to be in my whole process of life, every moment trusting Him to take care of the obstacles that used to seem so distant.

    I love your New Fall. I love the soup. I love the hand-me-downs because my home is full of them (the benefits of having two girls 23 months apart :)). Thank you, Shannan.

  26. Love this. And your New Fall!
    And now I want soup. :)

  27. I will not buy myself Yankee Candles or Bath and Body Works products. I buy good ole drug store brand lotion and the occassional Walmart candle. Whenever someone (my hubby) asks what to get for my birthday or Christmas, it's Yankee, Bath and Body, etc... I WILL NOT purchase them for myself.

  28. Can't you just, well, borrow some mums? I don't have any right now either, because I'm in transition, so I know they aren't REQUIRED but for goodness sake, they are MUMS!

    Quick, I have potatoes and no unfrozen meat. What's for dinner?

    Also, I want to come over, make me some soup. Thanks.

  29. Your new fall is lovely. Mums and Yankee Candles are highly overrated (even though I did splurge on a votive size Yankee the other day):)

  30. oh shannon - how i appreciate this post! i have been kind of sad about not having my mums out and feeling the need to get them but you are so right. it's not about what we get, it's about being content with what we have. i just love your heart my friend! thanks for sharing!

  31. I love your words that come from the heart today my friend...right now I am looking at a free sunset and my heart is grateful! Your post hit home with me today....I do try to be thankful and AWARE of all the unexpected joys in my life. xoxoxoxoox

  32. You inspire me to think about the things I buy, pumpkins, mums, candles, each fall without even thinking about them.. I will try and do better. Thank you for your encouragement.

  33. Truer words were never spoken. Thanks for the reminder that where we are is beautiful already and doesn't need anything that could be bought with money.
    {You had better keep those shoes forever. They are better than any mum.}

  34. Our corn field is still hugging us tight, and I love it too. Any day the dust will start to fly though. Last night I made a mini corn shock out of fallen stalks and it made me just as happy as the brightest pot of Nursery posies. Yes, we have so much to be thankful for--without spending a dime. Thanks for the reminder.

  35. Love the sentiment here. Fall is definitely a great time to re-evaluate and find joy in that which we already do have, to hold tight to good friends and family, and to bundle under those fabulous old blankets and throws with a steeping cup of tea. Catalogs will always beckon but so frequently our chic is already present in our lives. Haven't been reading blogs for the last several weeks but was glad to catch up on all your posts--always love your style! The family photo day looked great and Happy Belated to Silas! :)

  36. You have such a gift with words. I love the way in which you can describe things. Thank you for sharing it with all of us.

  37. That sound like the loveliest of falls. I'll take one too please.

  38. Started tossing out those magazines (or at least most of them!) about three years ago, and haven't looked back since.

    Still wearing last year's (and many years back) socks.

    Feeling the hum of a 'new' fall, just like you, and loving the simplicity of a life that is not ruled by 'things'. :)