0055. september favorites
I always get reflective when the year ends and a new one begins. For better or worse the end of 2019 was ridden with anxiety and disquieting emotions and I'm realizing now it would have been very helpful to finish my monthly reviews. They've been sitting in my drafts long enough and while unseasonable - I truly treasure writing these.
As I worked to remember what September felt like, my memory was dominated by the corporeal bad. Thankfully my planner, photo log and journal told the real story. Memory, you're a terribly unreliable source because there was so much joy! For me, when I don't reflect it's easy to forget.
It's weird to think how my summers have changed since quitting my beloved job. Mainly, September has become so summer like - it's so much warmer (hello, climate change) and I don't have to go back to work which means one more month of vacation. This year, I needed it. It's unfortunate but too often it takes heartbreak and a loss to clarify: ‘what really matters?’
As I worked within myself to answer this, these events, people, places and tunes were beautiful buoys:
On repeat: The Score by the Fugees. Back to school time makes me miss Brooklyn and Harlem sooo so much and for some reason this extraordinary album takes me there - yay for music time machines.
Luxury: Sustainable travel. I'm privileged enough to have free/beautiful places to visit only a drive away and summer is when I make my rounds. As our last trip we embarked on a family tour. We traveled ~1500 miles from Ithaca to eastern LI, all the way to Maine and back home via bus, train, and carpooling. There were some early mornings and a fair amount of planning but I'm so happy we didn't bring an extra car. What was your favorite summer trip?
Decision: Crystal clear. Also fun - keeping it secret for a few days. (Also necessary - some wedding guidelines!)
Blooms: Wildflowers, sunflowers, goldenrod and too many other beauties I am unable to name.
Sensation: Being surrounded by buzzing bees in my friend's goldenrod fields.
[ Infuse 3 t dried or 6 t fresh calendula heads/petals + 1 c scalding water for 10-15 minutes. Save the liquid / strain and compost the flowers. Soak a washcloth and indulge in an amazingly soothing face mask. ]
Bounty: My very own organic marigolds, fortuitously the only seeds I managed to plant!
Staring: The bluest blues, tidal pools, moonrises, ocean movements, waterfalls, giant pink rocks, spindly trees. I freaking love you, Earth. Thank you for providing nature as therapy.
Spotted: I was obsessed with finding a starfish while exploring tidal pools in Maine and just when we'd given up I spotted a seagull aggressively stabbing/eating one. Who would've known - nature, you viscous sometimes!
Finds: A sunset hued tee. A highlighter pink bathing suit top turned sports bra. Maps for our bare walls. A non-ugly storage solution in the form of a woven hamper... But mostly, the time to organize with mi madre and wander secondhand stacks and yard sales with my husband-to-be. (Free/cheap dates - woooo!)
Book: Get in Trouble by Kelly Link. Creative, weird, fantasy-type short stories. Perfect for vacation days.
Show: The Boys. Funny, weird and uncomfortable all at the same? I'm not a media writer but can safely say it is smart and worth a watch.
Nature magic: MAINE / ACADIA. This bulby moon rising and the pastel light show that came with it.
Surprise: A pup! My family found three flea-ridden, abandoned sisters by the river at our hacienda and did not hesitate in taking them home. My aunt, mom and cousin each claimed one and the picture/video updates were absurdly cute!
People: Between two weddings and a family reunion we managed to see and celebrate with many, many of our loved ones. YAY.
Happy February! Any summer memories that are still bringing you joy?
PS. March, April, May, June, July, August.
PPS. A guide to a monthly reflection.