Autumn…a second Spring!

“Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting and autumn a mosaic of them all.”

– Stanley Horowitz

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Almost overnight, the landscape around us blooms with the most incredible colors.  Especially here in New York as September departs and October takes center stage.

We all need a change, a departure from the chaos of daily news items and endless social media debates.  Time to focus on the holidays ahead, however we celebrate, and enjoy the wonder of what life gives us. 

Fall isn’t a death, as some might have you believe.  Rather, it is a celebration of life which surrounds us along with the preparation for somewhat of a second chance as a new year approaches.   Each step on some crunchy fallen leaf brings back childhood memories of jumping in huge piles of what Autumn was leaving behind, of crisp apples and cider, of Halloween and Thanksgiving.  Each step reminds us that new beginnings await us in just a few short weeks.  The cycle of life continues on its inevitable journey as nature says good-bye for this year.

Celebrate the season!

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From Mama Kat’s Workshop…10 reasons why you’re glad it’s Fall.

There are just so many lovely quotes about Fall, and the photos…breathtaking.  For my 10, I decided to share some of my favorites.

I’m thankful to live in an area of our country where Autumn often takes center stage with its magical display.  And, I meant what I stated, about needing change, an escape even, from all of the current worldly debate.  If we all took a step back and reflected on just how quickly this year has passed and the amount of time that was spent on being so completely adversarial with each other…we just might take the time to enjoy the fleeting moments of this and every season.

 

 

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Sounds…

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However slight, sudden noises in the night manage to wake me.  It’s been like this since she lived with us and hasn’t changed in the twelve years since she passed.  Every creak from the attic or sound of footsteps takes me back and puts me on alert.

Some nights, she’s still down the hall, talking to someone who isn’t there.  The soft conversations last, on and off, for hours and often escalate into full-blown yelling episodes with someone standing in the shadows of her mind.

When all seems to become quiet, underlying noises emerge, almost like a forewarning of what is to follow.  Soon, one more escape out the door.  Back to what little she could remember from all that Alzheimer’s had taken away.

Once again, I sit up in bed and listen for five or ten minutes, waiting for her door to open.

 

workshop-button-1From Mama Kat’s….Listen to the sounds in your house for 5 or 10 minutes. Write about what you hear.

 

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Remain neutral…

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It’s weeks away.  Christmas.  Otherwise known as the holidays, complete with Santa, Reindeer, Elves, decorated trees and that one petrified mass of dried fruit, nuts and rum, called Fruitcake, which continues to be sent around the world from person to person.

Along with everything red and green, the season brings Hanukkah, the festival of light and beautiful traditions and Kwanzaa, a celebration of family, community and culture.  Those with different religious backgrounds reach out and acknowledge these joyful festivities, possibly the one time of year when most of us make attempts to set aside our differences.

But not all.  Many communities already deal with those who object to Christmas tree and Nativity displays, even to the placement of Menorahs.  Now, such disapproval continues to rear its ugly head in the direction of schools, the retail market and various private organizations who engage in any specific Christmas oriented activities.

I had a recent discussion with a young person who was upset and shared a story about a holiday event they had been looking forward to until someone in the respective organization levied a complaint about keeping the overall theme…neutral.  Neutral?  Is this what our children are to learn as they head into adulthood?  Remain neutral, refusing to accept or respect the long-standing religious traditions of others and declaring a would-be war on Christmas and all other devotional observances? Set aside the cheerful celebrations, the sometimes-overdone decorations and the important sense of sharing and giving to others?  Always remain politically correct and keep your religious observances to yourself?

The New York City public school system banned Nativity displays in 2002 yet allowed what they felt were less overtly religious symbols as menorahs, Muslim star and crescent and Christmas trees.   I felt this was an insult to Christians, Jews and Muslims to have their religious beliefs categorized under an almost innocuous, borderline neutral, heading.

Where is the harm in allowing our children to participate in all of the seasonal activities, regardless of any religious affiliations?  Why can’t youngsters learn to respect and celebrate all religious practices?  Why are we focusing on mandating that every observance be conducted in a secular manner because acknowledging all holiday traditions with the collective pomp and circumstance involved makes certain segments of our society… uncomfortable?

How is this explained to any youngster who asks why?

 

workshop-button-1  From Mama Kat’s….Talk about something you learned from your child this week. 

What I learned was from someone else’s child and it upset me, a great deal.  This young person was looking forward to being part of a holiday event until an outside source registered a complaint, demanding that the function be kept “neutral”. 

In my own life, I enjoy a family with different religious backgrounds and have raised my own children to always acknowledge the religious celebrations of others.  Why so many choose to hide behind walls of indifference and downright ignorance is exhausting, especially where the holiday season is concerned.  There is not one of us who is better than the other based on who or what we worship or what seasonal event we choose to celebrate. 

The idea is to embrace each other as human beings. 

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