Isn’t it amazing?
Summer entrenched so thoroughly you think there will never be any relief…broiling day after sweltering night…and then, a little ripple of cool in the mornings, doors and windows open at night, the light coming from a golden place of softness and glow rather than harshness and flame.
I love Autumn…perhaps because I love transformation. It is a season of great promise for me. A season I can actually plan to spend more time outdoors…in the garden, on a petroglyph hike, or with my beloved sister Kim
at a week-long watercolor art journaling class in Yosemite with a fabulous teacher–Janet Takahashi, sponsored by the Yosemite Conservancy.
“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike.” John Muir
Kim and I hatched a glorious plan to return to Yosemite this fall when I visited her back in May. We fed it with all our hopes and dreams through the long hot summer. I clung desperately to its promise of cool water and lush green through a particularly harsh Tucson summer. I NEEDED this trip with my whole soul. But that was before my Love’s cancer diagnosis. That was before my world was up-ended. That was before everything changed.
As you know, my sweetheart is ill. Very ill. And the prognosis is not good. I didn’t think I could leave home for this grand adventure with all the worry and concern for his care. But he insisted I go and so many others (including YOU) stepped in to help make it happen.
But it was my sister Kim. Joy-filled. Authentic. Creative. Determined. Kim.
She made it happen.
With constant encouragement and love. She made the whole trip possible. In every way. Every detail.
She cheered me and boosted me and gave me time to curl up at her little cabin (Cabin Fever) for a couple of days before we left so I could get my mojo back.
She pre-prepared all the meals. Gifted me with comfy, sturdy new shoes and a brand-new, cozy, warm, double-sized sleeping bag.
She drove us up the winding roads to Yosemite to our little tent camp where she created a camp kitchen for us, set out chairs by the fire pit, and strung twinkle lights all around!
“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” John Muir
“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean. ” John Muir
We walked sun-dappled paths.
We watched the full moon rise over Half-Dome.
We saw an incredible performance by a fellow who has dedicated decades to sharing stories of John Muir.
We had wonderful campfires and long talks. There were bears and deer and excited, awe-struck travelers from around the world.
“There is a love of wild nature in everybody, an ancient mother-love ever showing itself whether recognized or no, and however covered by cares and duties.” John Muir
There was a glistening river and gorgeous leaves.
There was a behind the scenes tour of the amazing Ahwahnee Hotel
about all the artists who contributed to its majesty, including the detailed talent of U.C. Berkeley graduate Jeannette Dyer Spencer who, in the 1920’s, created the striking basket patterns mural above the grand fireplace and the equally colorful stencil patterns found on the walls and ceilings.
Our teacher, Janet Takahashi,
is a wonderfully talented, funny, kind, joy-spilling woman who taught us so much about taking time to “see” and making room for little moments of sketching the world around us with no self-critic judging us or self-defeating “I can’t draw” talk in our heads.
We loved all of our cohorts and creative side-kicks…and made many new friends.
I had a soul-shifting, heart-lifting, spirit- stirring, magical time! I let my beautiful sister take care of me. I rested and journaled and laughed and drank in the lushness, the water, the colors, and the peace. For a few days, I allowed myself to just live
I got things in my life a bit more “right-sized.”
Yes, Honey is very ill and we have a hard and difficult path ahead. Yes, I’m old & rickety & fading fast myself. Yes, there are lots of sad things happening in my life–including worry about my 90 year old Mom who fell and broke her hip & wrist while I was away. Yes, I returned to learn of the mass shootings in Las Vegas and the continuing idiocy, arrogance, and lack of compassion of our President. Yes, I escaped just as the apocalyptic wildfires in California were devouring the homes of friends and extended family.
But I returned with a second wind. Scented with cedar and spruce, senses brimming with remembrance of joy and the spectacular play of light through changing leaves.
I am changed like the leaves.
A little less exhausted. A little more optimistic.
But I’m a little slow getting back in the groove–reluctant to leave my dear Albert as he struggles with new challenges and the very real fear he may have to undergo a scary surgery in the next few days.
But I’m back…to take up the difficult tasks ahead with a little rest under my belt and a heart-full of sister love to tide me over.
More soon…thanks so much for holding my place in your hearts! New classes and many new adventures to share with you coming soon! Please remember to fill you heart with gladness and seek out joy every danged chance you get. Remember that I am sending you so much love!
Thank you Kim!
Thank you Janet!
Thank you Anne, Judy, Marnie, Audrey, & the whole beautiful Tribe for taking care of the Creative Cottage while I rested a bit!
So much love and gratitude to share with you forever,
Adventuress Kait is back!
P. S. Check out Janet’s beautiful book–available on Amazon!
© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2017. All rights Reserved.