A Special Kind of Canvas


We were blessed with positively beautiful weather in Southern Wisconsin, the beginning of an “Indian Summer” of sorts—with bright sunshine, crisp, clean air, brilliant blue skies. Although the fall color change is past its peak, bright gold and deep red leaves still adorned enough of the canopy to lend a sparkle of color to the landscape.

Our family wasted not a minute of this beautiful day. Saturday found us at Skelly’s Farm Market, enjoying hot apple cider and cider donuts on a deck in the early morning sunshine, winding our way through a corn maze with nothing but the severe clear sky above us. We picked out our pumpkins for this year, came home and left again for our last soccer game of the fall season—a perfect day to cheer children as they ran around chasing soccer balls and/or the occasional floating leaf.

I could not breathe enough of the air.

Early Sunday morning, when the other members of my household still slumbered peacefully, I fumbled around for my glasses, threw on a coat, and went outside to study the predawn sky. Sure enough, in the blackness above me, lighted only by the most distant of stars and planets, I saw meteors shooting their way through the sky—as if Orion, the Hunter were shooting arrows at Taurus. The Orionid Meteor Shower was lighting up the sky. It was beautiful, and I count myself lucky to have seen it.

On Sunday we took our brushes, paints and pumpkins, and with Grandma and Papa in tow and Nature as our inspiration, we painted our pumpkins.
It was a beautiful weekend, far too short, and it will quickly be replaced by the hustle and bustle and hectic pace of the work week and hassles of things that I don’t really want to do. It is tempting to worry the weekend away—to spend so much time lamenting the ephemeral nature of such rare, perfect days that we miss out on them completely.

However, I am pleased to say that I do not regret the passing of this weekend. For once I seized the day and did the little things that mattered. I left the laundry and dirty dishes and instead tended the corn maze and the pumpkin painting. I failed to mop the floor (again) and instead lay on the grass on a sunny afternoon one day and took artsy pictures of pumpkins and squash sparkling in the sun on a dewy morning on another day.

Yes, my house could be cleaner. Yes, there are a dozen loose ends, accounting and otherwise that I could be tying up. However, those things—the dirt, the unfilled bank ledgers will be there on Monday, when it is raining. The leaves are falling from the trees even as I speak, and who knows what the weather will be like next October when the Orionid Meteor shower comes around again.

All I know is that I had the opportunity to spend an amazing weekend exploring, playing and discovering with the people I love. And that is what life is about. Sometimes, you just have to put your priorities in line and compose your life on the remarkable canvas that Mother Nature kindly provides.

©2012 Michele Arduengo. All rights reserved.

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