Delights: October 22 to October 28

October 22: I’ve found a favorite spot at our new library, among the newspapers and magazines. A fellow retiree smiled at me. “Working on your novel? I see you there when I come in to read the headlines.” We talked about poetry, painting, family stories —and his own writing. I know we will see each other again. I’ll have a Mary Oliver poem in my pocket when I say hello.

My husband, Kevin, took this photo of the marshes adjoining Sinepuxent Bay. I love the soft soothing snuggly colors.

October 23: I came upon our town’s annual Plein Air festival today, where local artists displayed their work. Weaving around a spacious patch of lawn near the farmers market, nearly one hundred easels held oil paintings and watercolors. Each presented an engaging glimpse of our town, painted from lawns and sidewalks everywhere. I saw — and recognized — church windows, cafe umbrellas, historic buildings, and shaded creeks. I was too spellbound to take a photo.

October 24: I looked to the right and then to the left. I peeked under the table and exhaled. I was alone in the house for four hours and my chores were mostly done. I pulled out my favorite board game: The Big Book of Madness. Because it’s a collaborative game, I could play two hands of cards to outwit monsters, break curses and cast spells. In a fit of enthusiastic confidence, I increased the difficulty level and lost both times. But “lost” is relative. All along the way, I crafted strategies, dodged madness and had a splendid time. That’s the real win.

October 25: On Saturday, I returned home from my extra-long morning walk to find a glittering pile of glass at our front door. The panel of our storm door lay in a thousand pieces. I cleaned the debris and tweezed shards from the frame. No other damage was done. Returning inside by another door, I went about my business.

Eventually, to retrieve the mail, I stepped through frame of the storm door, now glass free. Perhaps it was because I had to lift my leg just a bit higher or tuck my shoulders in a few inches. Maybe I even ducked my head. Whatever the reason, Jeremiah — who had the same experience — agreed that passing through the frame conjured fairy tales and magic. Portals to adventure: a mirror, a wardrobe, and now an empty but beckoning storm door.  

October 26: A mom maneuvered her double stroller onto my side of the walking path. She bent down and plucked something red from the grass. Pushing back the canopy shading her long-legged daughter, she offered a bright leaf to the child. The girl reached up and brought the leaf close to her eyeglasses. She was smiling as I passed.

October 26: A nine-year old girl in soccer shorts and shin guards walked slowly toward me on the path. On the practice field behind me, children had started to gather. The girl would soon join them, but not before extracting one more exciting page from the book almost brushing her nose.

October 27: We lay on our backs, knees bent, soles on the floor. Our yoga teacher invited us to tip our knees outward and press our bare feet together: butterfly pose. Then, she said, grab opposite elbows and, if you can, place them on the floor behind your head. “Like a box.” I pondered my shape from head to toe  — actually, a multitude of shapes: a square, a circle, a rectangle and a diamond. In my mind, I was a whimsical stick-figure, dancing.

Kevin also took this beautiful photo.

October 28: I walked along a shady path between the creek and the back of the firehouse. The big old hook and ladder truck rested outside the garage. Fire fighters busied themselves everywhere, with hoses and towels and other cleaning tools. The hook-and-ladder truck shone like a polished apple and its 20 flashing lights, scattered like sequins, giggled at all the attention.

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If you’d like to browse my past essays, please consult the “word cloud” featured at the very bottom of this post. Find a theme or two that interests you and sift through the sands. Or learn a bit more about my Blog by visiting my Welcome page. You’ll also see links to my four short published essays. I’m glad you’re here!

16 thoughts on “Delights: October 22 to October 28

  1. Lovely autumn leaves…and how nice to have a favourite library spot.

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    1. Autumn is a lovely time of year here. Thanks for remarking on that photo. And the library! It closed for scheduled renovation in March 2020 — so the timing of its reopening was perfect for my retirement!

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  2. I got side-tracked after your very first entry, thinking about Mary Oliver. She wrote so many poems inspired by my neck of the woods … Singapore, Malaysia …. There is so much interesting discourse & controversy over her work – a mark of a successful poet, right? Do you have a favourite Mary Oliver poem? I just reread The Swan (and a few others) as part of my distraction. This was the poem that set me on the whole exploration of beauty.

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    1. Dear Ju-Lyn — Thanks for starting a conversation about Mary Oliver. In my next post, I’ll invite all our readers to chime in. For now, I’ll point to my favorite collection, Blue Horses (2014). I savor each poem in that slim volume. Thanks also for talking about the the inspiration Oliver drew from Singapore and Malaysia. I didn’t know that, or about the controversy it engendered. I just found “Swan” in Oliver’s recent compilation, Devotions. Thank you for reminding me about it!

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      1. And I forgot to shout out this thrilling line: “a perfect commotion of silk and line” …

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      2. Looking forward to continuing this conversation in your next post – I love all the discussion that goes on in your space.

        I will hunt down Blue Horses.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I look forward to checking out the game with you one of these days!

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    1. Excellent! Maybe I’ll keep it in my car when I pass your way. A perfect diversion for a cold weekend afternoon!

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  4. Beautiful pictures! We are a family who loves cooperative board games. I will be checking out The Big Book of Madness.

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    1. That’s great, Laurie. I hope you enjoy it! What is your favorite cooperative game? I’ll ask for it for Christmas…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Right now we are playing Reign of Cthulhu, and we love it! Do you have any others to recommend?

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Please send Kevin my compliments on both his captures. I can see why you described that first one as snuggly.

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