Simple Joys of Autumn

Rustling of Leaves

Our wants can become so mighty, so insistent and demanding. Our desires to achieve or obtain have a way of growing and multiplying at a pace that far outstrips contentment.

Frantic and Famished is no way to live.

I tell myself, “Be still! Cease striving! Rest, and be content.” I say, “There is time enough for everything important.” The rustling of autumn leaves reminds me of this.

The rustling of the leaves in autumn—a simple joy….

Here are three suggestions that can fill a soul with contentment and simple joy:

1)  Read a few children’s books.

  • In the charming tale of Twig, by Elizabeth Orton Jones, you will recover the wonder and power of childlike imagination.
  • In Paperboy, by Vince Vawter, you will empathize with the lonely boy who stutters and rejoice in his developing relationship with the wise old merchant marine who lives in his neighborhood. The honor and respect of this man will inspire and hearten anyone who has felt the lash of a brutal and bully world.
  • A heart that’s been wrung dry in the wasteland of news or talk radio will swell with refreshment at the stories of “Bonny’s Big Day” or “Blossom Comes Home” in James Herriot’s Treasury for Children. The beauty of tender concern and simple love for creatures will wash over and replenish all the little ruptures sustained in your day.
  • The Railway Children, by E. Nesbit, will help renovate the cynical view and recover a sense of value for courage, valor, and integrity.
  • The profound truths encountered in C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia will astonish in their simplicity as the story rekindles your sense of adventure and hope.

Rustle the leaves of a child’s book.

2)  Go on a walk.

Frank and Julie have been coming to the Tearoom for 14 years. We have always enjoyed seeing each other and catching up each month during their regular tea times. A couple of years ago, however, we wanted to find a simple, inexpensive way to be together more often. A weekly walk was just the thing! So every Thursday morning you will see the four of us (Frank, Julie, Roamin’, and me) wandering in and about Old Town. Ours is not a fast, energetic walk for exercise; but rather a meandering feast of looking, sharing hearts, slowing down, connecting well. A weekly delight. Every Thursday opens a new page of our lives as they unfold.

Take a walk and rustle the leaves in the life of a kindred spirit.

3)  Ask someone over for tea.

Prepare a comfy place to sit, soft for the repose of tense muscles and lavish with sufficient time for long moments of quiet. Light a candle. Add a pot of steaming tea and a bowl of warmed pear slices smothered in cinnamon-scented cream. Lean in. Be present. Allow the tea and the time to work their magic.

Tune the rustle of those tea leaves to the rustlings of a heart.

Be still. Cease striving. Rest, and be content. There is time enough for everything important. Let the rustling of autumn leaves remind us of the joy of simple things.

Yours for the return of Grace, Civility, Beauty, Gentility, and Excellence,

Mary Alice