Autumn is fully underway here in Lethbridge. We went for a walk downtown and there were leaves all over the sidewalks. I thought it looked very pretty.
Many of you may know I love to read. I have shelves full of books at home and I’ve only read about half of them. This sounds bad that I haven’t read them all, but to me it’s exciting because it means I have so many more adventures to go on, page by page, chapter by chapter, and book by book. And in my defense, I love to buy books, so it seems that for each book I read, I’ve bought at least another in that time period.
As I reach the last few chapters of a book I always think, “I just want to finish it. I want to know how it ends!” So I put off everything else, any pressing homework, any housework, whatever it is, and I finish it. It’s so exhilarating. I love when every part of the story comes together for the main event. But then as the climax of the story winds down a different feeling sets in. One of yearning. Yearning for the story to not end.
Some of you may have had the same thoughts that I’ve had while reading books, “Why does it have to end at this moment?”, or “There has to be another way!”. There are many reasons these feeling and questions come. You are going to miss the characters, and the places they’ve been. You’ve been with them through so much and for what seems like eons. You may have come up with a different ending of your own that you think is better. How can the author just make you leave them now? What cruelty! You may especially have felt these feelings after reading a series such as Harry Potter. I’ve been by your side Harry for 7 years now, how can you just leave me as if you just apparated! With the release of the new book maybe many of you have been consoled for at least moment.
I know what you’re thinking, “I’m never going to read a book again! That way I can’t have these feelings!” Don’t do that. You’ll have these same feelings when you finish watching all 9 seasons of The Office on Netflix too. The journey that books take you on are way worth the short melancholy mood that may follow.
I think these feelings also come because we know change must follow once we are finished the book. It’s not a change of lifestyle or change of location, but changing to a new book can be difficult at first. After finishing each of the books by Dan Brown, I was a little sad that each of the stories were over, but I was excited to read the next because I knew it was the same main character, same author, and the new story may relate slightly to the one I had read before. Those transitions were fairly easy.
This may sound like a far fetched comparison but in life we have similar experiences. We have short stories that make up our lives. Each of them have beginnings and ends. Some can be longer stories, such as a 5-year university degree, and others shorter stories, like a summer vacation. When we start each of these stories we think they will never end. But time marches on and the end comes. We have that same yearning feeling that comes when finishing a book for that moment to continue, not to end. We’ve grown close to the people around us who are apart of those stories, and we’ve grown accustomed to the places where the story takes part.
As we change into something new, or start a new story in our life, we may be uneasy about it at first. There may be some longing for the old times. We don’t know the new people, or characters, very well, we’re still getting use to the new location. We’re trying to figure out where everything fits. After a short time however we become comfortable with what is happening and we begin to even enjoy it. We move forward, day by day, week by week, not necessarily taking much note.
But then the story starts coming to an end and you may think, “Have I appreciated this as much as I should have?”, or “Did I make the most of this time in my life? Or did I waste it wishing I was somewhere else, or doing something else?” I believe we have all had a moment or two like these in our lives at one time or another. Looking back can be a hard thing. With our new present knowledge, we may have wished we had done something a different way. But the only reason we have that present knowledge, is because of that experience we just went through. During that time, we didn’t have this new knowledge so we couldn’t act in that way. So don’t beat yourself up over small things like that. Enjoy each moment of the story, and when you think you haven’t appreciated past moments as much as you should have, enjoy the present ones even more.
Finally, the story comes to an end. Those feelings of yearning for it not to end arrive. But these life stories never leave us, just like the story in a book. These stories make us who we are. The greater the experience, the more impact it will have. We can remember them when faced with new challenges thinking, “What did I learn in the past that can help me now?” Each story builds upon the last making the new stories even more fulfilling and exciting. With each of them our capacity to accomplish more increases. And the best part is, with the closing of one story, there is always a new one just around the corner with new people, places, and experiences just waiting to show you something new.
The first day of fall or as it is also called, the Autumn Equinox. This can be a very depressing time. Summer is over and School is back in. But I try to look to the positive notes of this time of year. The colours of the trees are beautiful, it's pumpkin pie season, and we're one step closer to Christmas. That's all I'm coming up with right now.
So why do leaves turn yellow in the fall? This is caused by the breakdown of chlorophyll in the leaf (the chlorophyll gives leaves their green colour), so without it, the leaves turn yellow. Some leaves turn red because of red anthocyanin pigments. Nature truly is remarkable!
And why is it called "equinox"? Equinox is derived from Latin (just like everything else) meaning "equal night". On the equinox all around the world there is supposed to be 12 hours of night and 12 hours of day. This is not perfectly true but that's the idea. Our autumn equinox in the northern hemisphere is the spring equinox in the southern hemisphere. Always an interesting thing seeing it from both sides of the spectrum.
If you have anything else you look forward to during the autumn season, leave it in the comments below!
After doing the macro shot of the raspberries yesterday, I thought I may as well follow it up with a macro shot of the grapes in my parents' garden as well.
You may be thinking, you can grow grapes in Alberta?! (Or some of you who may think we have winter all year round across the country) in Canada?!
It's true! This type of grape is called Valiant Grape. It's smaller than the average grape you buy in the supermarket but packs just as much flavour. Some describe it as tangy. My wife tried them for the first time this year and said, "They taste just like Welch's!".
They are great for jelly, and to be juiced. We have pints of grape juice in our storage room. Just add a little sugar if you like it to be sweeter, and add a little bit of ginger ale, or sparkling water for a little carbonation, and you won't be able to stop drinking this stuff. Supposedly there are many health benefits to drinking grape juice, but I'm not going to get into that discussion.
If you have your own garden, try these out next year. Make sure the vines have something to grow up on, and that they get plenty of sunlight. By this time next year, you'll be eating fresh grapes like a king!
Raspberries. I think I could stop the article there from lack of adequate words to describe this wonderful fruit. This is one of my favourites. Growing up I can always remember picking delicious raspberries to eat, put on ice cream, put in cereal, or just add sugar too.
There are many species of raspberries around the world. This came as a surprise to me but the three countries who produce the most raspberries are Russia, Poland, and Serbia. Raspberries are high in fibre, contain low amounts of sugar, and are a rich source of vitamin C. Be careful when picking them though. As you can see in the picture, the stems have thorns that can be quite painful if grabbed instead of the berry.
If you get strategic enough with raspberries like my parents do. You can grow one species that produces in the summertime and another species that produces in the fall. This way you can have raspberries for months on end!
Hello readers! I'm Brian, an amateur photographer. I will be posting photos I take, reviews of products, and any tips I can offer to fellow photographers out there! I hope you feel welcome to read, leave comments, and create discussion! Check out other posts on my Niume account here: Brian Sloan Blog