Friday, October 7, 2016

The Befores

This year I fell deeply, madly
blissfully in love


I've never disliked September, but
in my mind it was the plain
stepsister to that gloriously
bedecked Cinderella of a month,

September was simply what came

But not this year.

This September took me back to
being ten years old, when I got
my first pair of glasses.

Wow! I told my mom on the way home
from the eye doctor. I can see every
blade of grass! And all the leaves
on the trees! Wow!

The Monet world I'd been living
in prior to my glasses disappeared.

That's how I felt about this
September. It wasn't the blur that
so many previous Septembers have
been. Instead, I really saw it,
along with its many charms.

There is a wonderful yin and yang
to the days of September.  They are
warm enough that many flowers are
still abundant, but shorter days
begin tinging the leaves with
brilliant color.  Grasses turn 
brown or a rich golden.  Geese 
still call softly from the lake,
but many are practicing their
v-formation for the pilgrimage

Unlike October, September has one
foot still in the summer, and one
perched in the fall, and it's a 
lovely mash-up of nature's 
bounty, with tomatoes and zucchini
nestled on the kitchen counter
next to apples and pumpkins.

I miss it, already.

October will dazzle, I'm sure,
just as Christmas does or a long-
awaited trip, a vacation or a
significant milestone. But, like
all anticipated events, October
will flash brilliantly and then
quickly be over.

I'm learning that the real joy
resides in the ordinary time that 
leads up to the dazzle.

In the Befores.

Because looking back, I can now
see that the Befores contained
a special sort of beauty all 
of their own.

Sharing a bunkbed with my
little brother {before we
had our own rooms}.

Riding my bike all over our
small town {before I got my 
driver's license}.

Living in a tiny apartment
{before my husband and I had
saved enough for our first home}.

Nursing my babies {before
they were weaned}.....

And now, preparing to wave goodbye
{before they spread their wings and
fly towards adulthood}.

As I look toward the next chapter
in my life, I do so with a greater
appreciation for the Befores.  
Like September, they harbor a 
unique sweetness that won't be
fully recognized until they have


Well, said Pooh, what I like best,
and then he had to stop and think. 
Because although Eating Honey was a
very good thing to do, there was a
moment just before you began to eat
it which was better than when you 
were, but he didn't know what it 
was called.

~ A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh



(all pics my own)


Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

OH I love this, Suzanne. It is such a beautiful way of looking at life...thanks to you, the befores are part of my being now. I am acutely aware of the passage and fleeting quality of time, and how we need to be present in the moment. Your photos are so lovely and touch my heart. I love your sweet spirit, my friend...xoxo

Ann Mingo said...


First time to your blog. I followed the link here from The Enchanted Home, enticed by the title of this post. Absolutely beautiful.
I will be stopping by again for sure.
Thank you!

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Dearest Suzannne, we are on the same wavelength. I am now working on a short blog post that runs along the same vein as your message....for me, this NEWNESS of September, or for any month for that matter, is because of AGE. I swear I'm getting younger - oh, my eyes are becoming weaker, my hips ache once in a while due to dance and weight lifting, but my soul sees things in a different way. This year, I could have told you that there was a new tree in my neighborhood, or that a certain garden had never been there, when all the while, they've been here longer than I have. But I just barely noticed them. September for me, though I've been back to teaching, has taught me much. A final act of this year's waning summer glory made me want more of her, made me slow down enough to not just see the trees turn gold, but to appreciate my life in its transition.

Glorious prose, fantastic photography, be well and embrace yet another gift of LIFE!

Dawn Y. said...

So lovely, Suzanne! Each thoughtful word and gorgeous image will remain in my heart. You have such a wonderful way of sharing wisdom! Our Befores are truly what made each of us who we are today. Documenting my Befores is what makes memory keeping, in every form, so important to me. When I am older and begin to forget, scrapbooks and photos will remind me of all of the amazing Befores that are still so important to who I have become. Heartfelt thanks for such a beautiful post, dear Suzanne! ♡Dawn@Petals.Paper.SimpleThymes

Barb Brookbank said...

Love this Suzanne. You now have me thinking about the "befores" but in retrospect at the moment ... like the anticipation of our whole family arriving for Thanksgiving ... it was a magical moment. Thank you for always putting into lovely words, exactly what I'm thinking or feeling. xo

Summer said...

Beautiful photos! Glad you enjoyed September ♥

Jeanie said...

I'm glad you discovered September. I think it is one of my favorite months. Maybe my most favorite. Warm and sunny but not hot and sticky, hints of fall but still time to wear shorts, take long walks, enjoy the outside but not feel like you were pushing the envelope to make an apple crisp!

Your photos are beautiful in every single way! And now, October. But September continues to reign in my heart, too!

Rambling Tart said...

How wonderful, Suzanne. :-) September is now Spring for me, and it's so hard to retrain my brain to associate that word with apple blossoms and peas instead of apples and crunchy leaves. I love your photos. :-)