Downshifting Into Autumn

Mornings are crisp and the evergreens flanking our front porch steps have donned festive red berries.

Goldenrod shows off its honey-colored mane as it beckons with a come-hither sway in the late afternoon sun.

All signs that autumn—a time of harvest, a time of reflection—is on its way. Len and I have played hard (and I do mean hard) all summer. Now is the season we intentionally downshift and live gently—we reflect, and we recharge our personal batteries.

Autumn’s the mellow time.” – William Allingham, poet

What’s your autumn strategy?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               — Laurie Buchanan and our Facebook page

© 2011 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

30 thoughts on “Downshifting Into Autumn

  1. I say Amen to that one Laurie. This was my busiest summer ever with clients (not complaining mind you) however I am very much ready to reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelax on the out breath:)

  2. Autumn means lovely light in the afternoon for me with that cool air you speak of. But there are still a few sunny days and it is a time of kicking leaves as we stroll down wooded paths. Now that it is after Canadian Thanksgiving the island will be even more quiet than in September. We are through the shoulder season and hunkering down for a west coast wet winter.

    But there is no wood to get, split and stack. There are no preserves that needed to be put down. The garden didn’t have to be large enough fill the root house with winter vegetables. The fall hunters don’t bring freshly picked apples for us to eat. There doesn’t have to be enough hay secured harvested or brought in for the animals. These were all transitions of knowing autumn as a child. The strategy was to make it through the winter in good shape.

    So when I kick leaves I sometimes think of these and remember. It also doesn’t get 40 below with 5 feet of snow here either…. that I do not miss at all.

  3. Oh Autumn. It is such a great time of the year. I love seeing the visual changes. Our fiscal year just began as of October 1 so it is a great time to start fresh for something and slough off some of the “dead leaves” in other places. I too will be trying to downshift into observer mode more and action mode less. 🙂 Thanks for the thoughtful reminder!

  4. Hi,
    Lovely photo’s, but laying back with the feet up is definitely the way to go. We are in our Spring with summer just around the corner, so still heaps of work in the garden and yard for us yet, but there is always time for a bit of break and a bit of relaxation. 🙂

    • Leanne – I love what you said, “My strategy is to let go of what was and seek beauty in what is.” That wonderful attitude — way of living — is like a healing balm.

  5. Hi, Laurie! I am so densely packed these days with taking two classes, teaching two classes, working full time, playing tennis, and having that January person over as often as possible that I have to create space to have room to downshift . . . it is a good thing Jonathan does all the cooking because I don’t know what to eat much less find the time to make it. I spent all summer playing and now I am working working working . . . but I love it all!

  6. While y’all are easing back, I am gearing up for one of my busy seasons. From now until Christmas I will be planting pansies, snapdragons, artemisias and any other colorful, cold hardy plants into living outdoor flower arrangements, creating wreathes and centerpieces to grace doorways, mantles and tabletops. The steamy heat of Summer has gone and brought an invigorating breath of fresh air to pick up our spirits. Hooray for Fall!
    Laurie, what are those red berries? Is that a Yew?

    • Sandi – I know that this is the season that you gear up — BIG TIME! You burn several wicks on both end of your candle at once (so to speak)…

      I haven’t got a clue what those red berries are. When we moved into this house in 1994 there were two small evergreen bushes on each side of the steps that lead up to the front door. Those same plants are taller than we are now — but every single year and this time they show off with those red berries.

      I just Googled “Yew tree” and while the actual plant is shaped waaaaaay differently (ours is more bush-like than tree-like), the berries are identical!

  7. Downshifting is a good way to describe the change from summer to autumn. I enjoy the process of getting tucked in for the winter. Putting the garden to bed, planting bulbs, baking apple crisp, planning Thanksgiving, leaf-peeping, breathing in the crisp air, walks in the woods and on the deserted beach, pulling out the throws for the couch, lighting candles at sunset, taking screens out of windows, curling up with books more often…

  8. Good evening…our autumn strategy is to recover from Barry’s knee surgeries and heart procedures. I just finished mowing/sweeping the leaves off the lawn because he can’t drive the tractor. Another beautiful day. Your relaxing sounds good. May we join you?

  9. The transition for me is easy, since it’s my favoprite time of the year. Why:

    leaves changing to glorious colors
    pumpkin hay rides
    Halloween decorations and costumes
    invigorating brisk weather
    the prestige movie season
    Thanksgiving dinner
    NFL football
    the World Series
    the opening of the Metropolitan Opera season and HD simulcasts

    Need I say more? Ha!

  10. Down here in the antipodes spring is in full swing.
    Grass is growing madly, snow is retreating up the mountain slopes, and we are looking forward to our last fire of the season.
    We are upshifting into summer 😉

    • Ted – “Upshifting into summer” — I love it! And Ailsa’s got a birthday just around the corner and you guys/gals are gonna have a blast! As always, I’m glad for your visit — thank you for stopping by.

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