The Deeper Change Of Season

Under the heavy warmth of blankets, I can hear my alarm twittering loudly from across the room. It is 5:30 am and dark. Sleep has a stranglehold on all of my sensory facilities. I really don’t want to wake up and I certainly am not going to leap cheerfully to the floor to greet the day! Stiffly, I sit up and reach for my glasses. Somehow during the night I misplaced the exact location of my nose and ears and must fumble to sort out lenses, arms and facial parts. I suppose, I should go turn that little pest of a clock off. My half-awake brain reminds me that this early start is my choice. I am choosing to get up before daylight, just like I chose to buy a new jar of honey even though there is still a third left in the old jar and just like I chose to put two extra leaves in the kitchen table for six even though only David and I shall be eating at it. The quick, almost nonsensical, answer for these seasonal choices is that the evenings are shorter and the days are cooler.

The longer deeper answer is that there is still some part of me that gathers the equivalent of a squirrel’s nuts for the winter months. It is irrational behavior really. I tell myself that the honey will keep for years… but so will the dark brown sugar I already have. I do not need to start cooking dinner earlier and go to bed earlier but I do. So much so, that when the track lighting in the kitchen quit working six years ago we have neglected to replace it. Oh, we think about fixing it alright. We have even pick out new lights and talked to the electrician.  But mostly we hardly notice. Dinner is made and cleaned up before dark year round or we move a lamp over to the kitchen counter if we have guests and are eating later. Then we notice. But this doesn’t happen very often. So we forget again.

The thing is, we tend to live naturally in harmony with the way of the seasons – most days without even conscious reasoning. Let’s put the extra leaves in the table this week we say. We do not have a specific reason. But within a few hours books we are reading creep onto the surface and there is a notebook for writing down fragments of ideas. A sketchbook is then added and then a few drawing pencils. I think about the candles up in the loft and how nice they would look with the large table-cloth. They are idle thoughts. Nothing is rushed, orderly or precise. One minute I am considering whether we need more flashlight batteries and the next about picking up a bag of local apples to make crisp. There is seemingly no connection between these two fragments of seasonal activities. Yet, they linger, waiting for to respond. Like the low golden light that lasts thorough the autumn afternoon, there is comfort in their presence.

Other parts of my life are more rushed, scheduled and structured. There are new fall oil painting classes to teach, someone wants private painting lessons and another person schedules a personal visit to the gallery midweek before the latest show changes. These things squeeze up against my precious painting time – time that has to puff out its chest just to be able to reach the brushes between all the other demands.

But the painting still holds, still reaches and most weeks still happens. Two new works are ready to have their edges painted later this afternoon. One of them is this one….

Just Before Sunset Mayne Island BC “resting” 30 x 24 inch oil on canvas

This is the reason I am writing a blog post, the 616th blog post since late December 2009, before daylight. It is because this afternoon is reserved for painting! Painting edges, painting grounds and just painting…. and then maybe a long walk.

What natural rhythms of autumn seasonal changes do you notice in your own life?

P.S. Remind me to write early next week about a new group art show coming up with The Beauty of Oils Painters.

© 2017 Terrill Welch, All rights reserved.

Liberal usage granted with written permission. See “About” for details.

Creative Potager – Visit with painter and photographer Terrill Welch

From Mayne Island, British Columbia, Canada

For gallery and purchase information about Terrill’s photographs and paintings go to

13 thoughts on “The Deeper Change Of Season

  1. Beautiful write Terrill. I read it twice. 💕 For sure, I am aware of natural autumn seasonal changes. Love them! In spring/summer I easily jump out of bed when the birds start their morning melodies. Now I turn over until the natural light of day arrives. This morning I am back in bed under cozy blankets with a heating pad at my back. Had my first decaf and the cats are still cozy by my feet. Chickens’ morning routine done and I hear their gentle sounds from the bedroom window.

    I have also been thinking about flashlight batteries. Definitely need some. Just last eve I also thought about the battery operated candles I set their timers to come on early during the ever shortening evenings. Batteries for those – check.

    There is still lots to do in the garden before winter but everything is nicely slowing down. And there are always new wonders. For the first time, this morning while out with the chickens, birds are in my sunflower patch. Those glorious flowers, some of which you chose for a painting, are now rich with seeds, as their stocks slowly wither and yellow. They now give sustenance to the birds and a different joy to me. 😊

    Having been in your gorgeous home I clearly pictured everything in this blog. Wow, an impressive number since 2009. Thanks for all the joy you bring to us. Have a great painting afternoon and see you in class tomorrow. 💕

    • Yes Katherine, if the weather holds, we shall be outside at the lighthouse for class. Now how wonderful will that be!? I too have a few battery operated candles on timers. Thanks for the reminder as I will set them this evening. I only use real ones when I sit right beside them but I still have a few left. I can just hear and see the birds in your sunflowers! What a great word picture you painted for us of your morning!

  2. We were just talking the other day that here in Northern California, seasonal changes are so very fuzzy, and actually get fuzzier every year. Still, there are some. There is a walk along the bay that needs be shorter in summer, because there is an awful smell of something rotting in the bay on other parts of the path (they are trying to bring this part of the bay back to its original state somehow). Our summer visits to farmers’ market are probably over, because the tomato season is over (or almost over). Once upon a time, in our childhood in the Soviet Union, we heard about every fruit and vegetable being available all year round somewhere out there, in the free capitalist world, and were kind of envious — in St.Petersburg, even cucumbers disappeared, and then appeared only in the spring (the almost inedible hothouse cucumbers, but I still waited for them eagerly!), and cauliflower was available only in August and September. Here, of course, we came to realize that out-of-season fruits and vegetables aren’t really the same as in-season, and so we now welcome their yearly disappearance as almost the only reminder of seasonal changes.

    • We too eat more seasonally Lena than in the past with some extravagant and guilt-ridden exceptions. I still buy small packages of blueberries and raspberries when they come into season in Chili and are shipped up to us at premium prices. Somehow, I just can’t seem to resist them!

  3. I notice I naturally wake up early, not everyday, yet I still have air conditioners on, because it is in 80’s and above still, my apartment is west facing so lots of sunshine and heat still warms my rooms. Considering what new menu items to create to post and prepare for the upcoming Health Wellness addition to my blog. I notice the different patterns of the birds, the drying leaves, the whizz of the dragon fly, the way the light falls on the lake, and against the walls.
    Our random thinking is our preparing, while still getting the art done, still living fully present.

    • I love your last sentence Jeff! – “Our random thinking is our preparing, while still getting the art done, still living fully present.” This is it, isn’t it? I have been enjoying your calninary food and health posts a lot on Facebook. And so beautifully photographed!

  4. Though I like the long days of abundant sunlight – dinner is late and bedtime even later. I look forward to earlier nights, with earlier dinners and earlier bedtimes. But I do feel motivated to wake up earlier as well to have as much of the scant daylight as possible.

    I do love Autumn and the colored leaves. I love the chill in the air and the cessation of insects. My soul is of Autumn – at least now – in the Autumn of my life.

    • I can certainly relate to “my soul is of autumn” Deb though I think it has always been so. The harsh light of summer hurts my eyes and I squint even with protective coating on my lenses. It is like my whole being relaxes when the light softens in the fall. Lovely words. Thanks for sharing them.

  5. we have sweat peas in bloom again – they are about 10 feet tall and don’t last if we bring them in and yet they are beautiful. I went to bed at 9 last night and slept 10 hours – feel better. Today pumpkin pecan pancakes with sauteed apples – just needed that taste on my tongue…yep Autumn crisp sunshine is part of the rhythm of it all. Feel a need to purchase a new notebook and fresh pencils!!!

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