The hot Summer here has temporarily been replaced by a cool breeze and the whisperings of Autumn, although I do hear that we are going to be having another heat wave soon.
The memory of searing heat reminded me of our recent holiday to France. We stayed in a beautiful village a few kilometres south of Le Touquet, and enjoyed hot, sun drenched days that were only cooled by the occasional mammoth lightening storms at night.
Being away gives me a much needed chance to forget about everyday things, to live simply from moment to moment and to enjoy the small pleasures that surround me: A chalky turquoise wave crashing onto the shore, the discovery of a sea potato, a beautiful sunset in a foreign land, new food and drink, school-girl French.
There is an awakening of the senses when we travel somewhere new, we see new things, taste new flavours, hear fresh sounds. We feel alive, the world feels exciting and exhilarating. I thought about how we easily take for granted the tiny miracles that are harboured in our own back yards, how we sometimes miss the beauty and the wonder that surrounds us as we swamp ourselves with the mundane and ordinary.
So I returned home, abundant with new enthusiasm. I decided to once more start finding miracles and gratitude around me, in my day to day chores, my everyday ordinary moments. The colours in a newly opened geranium, scarlet as a showgirl's lipstick and reminiscent of the beautiful flowers in those pretty French villages we drove through made my heart skip with delight. I see chalk drawings on the back yard, colourful words and art from the magical mind of a six year old child that light me up and make me smile. I see colourful washing billowing in a breeze against an azure sky, and seagulls overhead - yes, although inland we sometimes see the gulls wheeling above the village, but rarely hear them call. Still, it reminds me of the coast, and I feel happy to see them.
I've taken most of the school holidays off this Summer to spend with my daughter; to wander and muse, to empty my mind, bake biscuits and lemon drizzle loaf cake. There are random and spontaneous trips to the coast, picnics in the countryside, a weekend in a caravan, time with friends and family. I know in years to come she'll be off galavanting with her friends during the holidays and way too busy to be spending time with her Mum. So I relish this time and the things that we do together and despite having the occasional urge to leap back into my creative zone and biz, I do my best to plan creative pursuits around her and with her. After all, it's not long til school starts up again and we can muddle along quite happily until then.
There are new ideas on the horizon for my business too, born from stepping back, from simply stopping. There are plans blossoming and it fills me with an enthusiasm for my art which I haven't had fully in months.
So the Summer wanders on. The light in my kitchen in the early morning is tinged with the soft, shadowed hues of a lowering sun, and I sense that Summer will soon be leaving. I stir my coffee and thoughtfully look out of the window at the dusty green leaves and slightly overgrown wildflowers on the riverside.
Autumn is often a time for new beginnings for me, I relish this fresh start and look forward to sharing many new things with you all in the months to come.