First and foremost, IT’S SEPTEMBER. Officially, there are still a few more weeks of “hurricane season” here, and the weather might still act like it’s summer (stormy, humid, and rainy), but the word “September” at the top of the calendar is a reminder to me that there is a light at the end of this tunnel. And I’m so ready for autumn- ready for open windows, breezy and drier days, a garden in bloom, the autumn holidays, earlier evenings… just more *life* in life.

September has always been sort of an alternate “new year” for me- it’s the start of a new school year, and for some reason that always feels like a fresh start in all areas of life. It doesn’t always *take*, but it feels like there are opportunities and possibilities in the air that weren’t there just a few days ago.

So I rejoice a little bit when the calendar reads “September”. We’re already starting to talk about Halloween Costumes and holiday plans and maybe even a trip to Disney for birthdays/anniversaries later this fall. I feel a little bubbly inside, and I haven’t felt that way in a very long time. It’s been a tough spring and summer and I’m ready to tie those strings up into a tidy bow and move on to the next chapter, you know?

Other things that I am grateful for this week:

- three day weekends. There should be a three day weekend in every month of the year. I don’t know what it is about that extra day, but it feels so spacious, like the pressure is off.

- renewed interest in crochet. I have been crocheting all summer, but not at the rate I was last winter or in the spring. I’ve been working on a blanket for the past few months, and the yarn isn’t my favorite. It’s super plush and fuzzy, and it fuses together almost as soon as you work with it, so it’s really hard to see where the hook is supposed to go and where to put stitches and where one row should end and another should begin. And the yarn itself has no “give”, so it’s not fun to wrap around my fingers and have it fly through my hands. I’m about two skeins away from the blanket being done, and I am SO excited! Not only to move on to something else (back to making scarves, which is sort of my current favorite crochet project) but to go back to using yarn that is fun to use.

- my family. Gracie and Tom both have colds so they’ve been home and around a little more than usual. We’ve been watching a lot of movies and spending time together. Another weekend at home, but that’s fine by me. It feels like a good time of year to nest a tiny bit. And Tom’s rocking his fitness thing- in addition to losing 50+ pounds, he’s now training for a triathlon. I am sort of in awe of him and the way he just decided one day he wanted to be fit, and did it. I hope he knows how proud of him I am.

- interesting meals. I have been a vegetarian for about 23 years now, and I have to admit, foodcan get boring, especially when you don’t like to cook. And I’m a super picky eater on top of that- I LOVE food but there’s not much I will actually eat.

Tom and I get into little ruts with meals where we eat the same few things over and over again- we find a vegetarian meal we like and just make it often. But recently we’ve been trying out new things and the range of vegetarian-friendly products on the market keeps growing and growing, so it’s now at the point where we have a bunch of different meals in our rotation that we love and look forward to and that are easy to prepare.

- the moon. I’ve been seeing a lot of the moon during the day when I swim and for some reason it seems like such an amazing thing. I am kind of obsessed with astronomy (need to get the telescope out this fall!) and I’m fascinated with the moon. Seeing it in the blue bright sky during the day seems like such a bonus. I don’t know why it makes me happy, but it really does.

- amazing television shows. This one is bittersweet because a lot of summer programs are wrapping up for the season, but I am so thankful for the amazing stuff that was on TV this summer. We didn’t watch much, but what we did watch was pretty amazing and worth tuning into- Longmire, The Bridge (such a good show!), Breaking Bad, The Killing, The White Queen (just started watching this)… each of these shows has kept us really engaged all summer. I can’t believe the quality of the shows that the cable networks are putting out. And I need to remember that beloved shows will be returning soon: The Good Wife, Downton Abbey, Once Upon a Time (which will have a spinoff this year), Amazing Race, Survivor, etc. I just hope the networks keep being motivated to create such amazing shows.

- haircut. I always put it off but it always feels like such a breath of fresh air when I get my hair cut. This week was no different. Love not having any hair on my neck. I feel so light.

also: workable to-do lists, erasable pens, autumn tea, getting sleep, haircuts, streaming movies via the internet, chocolate-banana smoothies, beautifully scented shower gel, Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle shampoo, longer shadows, weather radar on my iPhone. 

OH, and the band M83. I’ve had a few of their songs on my shuffle for a while but this week I decided to play their albums in full as I did various projects in my studio and… wow. I kinda got the chills.

When I was a teenager, I was *really* into music. I grew up listening to Duran Duran, and worshipped at the altar of Depeche Mode, 10,000 Maniacs, and the Cure when I hit high school. College was all about Simon & Garfunkel and Metallica. I always had music playing, always had my trusty Sony Walkman and my foam-wrapped headphones on my person. Music was EVERYTHING to me. But as I got older, my intense passion for finding new bands and listening to music faded. I sometimes rediscovered bands I loved in high school (Beastie Boys, Innocence Mission) which w ould spark a temporary obsession, but I have rarely discovered new music that I felt as connected to.

So when a band comes along that makes me sit up and take notice (Florence and the Machine, Chicane, Tegan and Sara), I get excited. This week it was all M83. They are sort of dreamy electronic music, but something about sitting in my art studio one night and listening to the album “Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming” from start to finish (and without having to flip the cassette!) made me reconnect with a part of my youth I thought was lost forever.  And that was a powerful thing, as silly as it sounds. I felt like a certain part of me was dusted off and put back into commission- that weirdly emotional, ooey-gooey, “this song is SO amazing!”, goosebumps thing. I don’t know if that makes any sense, but I felt moved by it. And it really makes me want to find more of the things that spark that feeling deep in me. It gives me hope that the passion for music, for creativity, for learning, for life is still there.

(and story of the photo above- Milo the kitten has decided that Ginger is his FAVORITE PLAYMATE EVER. Ginger loves him, and is so happy to have another cat to groom and cuddle with, but after an hour or so of Milo tackling her non-stop in the morning, she starts to seek out little places to hide from him. She goes out on the lanai, or she tucks herself away somewhere so he doesn’t spot her. Last week I found her tucked neatly into one of the tiny cubbies in the cat tree, just peering out. It made me smile- even cats need sanctuary and alone time, sometimes.)

Common Miracles is a project I started in May, 2011 to examine and discover how gratitude works in everyday life.

Show more