Since the beginning of October I’ve started my day breathing in fresh air. In the mornings I open our large sliding door and welcome in a rush of cool autumn air, while taking in the view of the fog-enveloped valley below that peeks at me through the trees. Trevor and I have three cats who love to sit against the screen to breathe the clean outdoor air, and watch the leaves shiver in the breeze. They do this all morning. As the sun rises over the ridge, the three of them bask in its warm rays that cast shadows on our beige carpet, stretching out that the sunshine warms their chilled bellies.

There’s truly no better way I can think of to start my days in the autumn other than braving the cold in this way. I think the chilled winds breathe new life into my mind every morning that I can immediately create once I’ve fully awakened. My mind hasn’t yet filled itself with thoughts around my responsibilities and duties for the day, that it’s free to dream and attempt to make something beautiful. Painting and writing are usually best done in the morning for me, at least during this season of my life.

For some reason, this October I’ve done a lot of good creative work on Sundays. Some weeks I just the whole Sunday, others just the later half of the day. Though there is an ebb and flow to my creativity, it’s been repeatedly aggressive on Sundays. It may be the only day I can give a large piece of my time to creative endeavors, as the rest of the week tends to be filled with chaos.

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I haven’t told many people, but I injured my knee early in the month and walking was a little tricky for a few weeks. But, once I’d had some time to heal and gather my strength, I could go on a walk in the mornings. In the summer I went on walks for exercise, but the morning walks in October were slow and thoughtful. Not only did I pay attention to the feeling in the muscles of my injured leg, that I would know I needed to take a break, but I also paid attention to the world around me. It was nice to slow down and photograph the environment around my home, to really see it in the mornings. Somehow it kindled a new appreciation for this place that I already love so much.

Since my grand revelation earlier in the month, I seem to see the world with new eyes. Time seems to leave quicker as well. This is probably because I’m spending the majority of my time writing, painting and editing photos. It’s already the end of October, and I just can’t believe it. If I hadn’t been writing and taking notes in my journal, I’m not sure I would have believed October had ever happened.

Most evenings after Trevor and I finish dinner, I would sit and write at the dining table. I would open the sliding door, again, and let in the frigid air to touch my skin. I breathe it in and out slowly while I capture my thoughts with language. I watch as twilight overtakes the sky above in a brilliant and dark shade of purple, and as the sun’s seemingly artificial orange glow illuminates the horizon where it set. Usually I’m swarmed by cats at this time of day as well. At first they are curious about the open screen door, but soon become too cold and look to snuggle for warmth. This time of day is oh so lovely, and I savor it.

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We spent the last week of October together, which was perfect. No matter how much time we spend together, it never seems like enough. Some days we went out and took photographs, some days we stayed inside and worked on creative projects, and some days we did nothing but play video games. Regardless of what we were doing, it was always lovely. Getting this time to laugh together, to have fun, and to smile is refreshing. I also enjoy how loved I am, as selfish as it is.

I’m going to miss these days until they return next year. The golden sky may not last through November, though the chilled winds and grey clouds will. The leaves also won’t last, and soon we’ll be able to see the trees for what they really are. The grass will also soon turn lifeless, a deep and muted green that will soon be buried in snow. These fall days linger as any other season does: not too long, and not too little.

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