this autumn


i woke up with my bandana over my eyes – it is always on me.  to give my eyes rest from processing visual.  to keep it darker during my early morning awakenings.   sometimes i put it on as well at night because the soft pressure comforts my painful eyes.

when i took it off, the autumn sun was streaming through the window.  i was not so sure how i would feel as my favorite season approached.  now so much sicker than a year ago.   but the sun…  was still my autumn sun that i love so well.  the way it saturates & deepens the colors at this time of year as it shifts in the sky.  the way it makes the shadows feel somehow deeper as well.

i always have to move slowly.  in the mornings i have to take my meds with a lot of water with electrolytes to increase my blood volume.  i know soon, i will be unable to be outside at all.  i know as well, how blessed i am for every opportunity to be out.  many with ME cannot.  IMG_7909
i am allowed to be out very briefly.  like all things – physical, cognitive, sensory – i must take care to allow in small segments of minutes.  with rest interspersed, but with rest being where i am most of the time.IMG_7896

this brisk morning, i sat out.  & the cardinal family who has kept me company all summer joined me.  as did the nuthatches, the finches, & the blue jays.IMG_7923
i started to weep.  but it was not out of sorrow or grief.  it was an immense feeling of gratitude for being blessed with all of this.  the autumn sun.  my dog.  being out with the sounds, smells, the feel of the wind.   i do not know what will be allowed to me in the future.  i do not dwell in what my autumns used to be, when i walked my dog through the woods.  every step a blessing.  a prayer.  a meditation.  bearing witness to this wonder of life.  under the canopy of my beloved trees.


i only know that every moment still given to me is still that blessing.  that prayer.  that meditation, the chance to bear witness to the gifts of being alive.


8 thoughts on “this autumn

  1. I am so glad you’ve begun this project, Ellen! I’m glad to hear more of your thoughts and experiences, and that you have this place to pour (or dribble, depending…) your creativity into.

    The sunlight in autumn is one of life’s greatest gifts. You could stand under a smokestack in Gary, IN, on a September or October day and find it beautiful because of the quality of the light. Wishing you many of those golden mornings this season and more of those moments of blessing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • so great to hear from you, stacy. i just felt like.. this was the next step.. for as long as i can still think or see or write a bit.. i have been worsening. & if it is my fate to finally lose my voice, it is my hope that before that happens… i can find connection & creativity & other good things in this way. & that it may resonate with others in some way – that would be the bonus. i don’t want to be remembered as that suffering woman on facebook

      thank you for those good wishes. & smiled at your comment about the autumn sun & gary, indiana.

      i think of you so often. just thought of you this morning, really. wondering how you were doing. sending my love. i do miss you. & now will close my eyes with your prayer beads in my hands..

      Liked by 1 person

      • Connection is one of the best things about blogs–social media in general, but here it’s a little slower and doesn’t disappear quite so quickly from view. For those of us who moved slowly even before ME, slower is good… I doubt you are thought of as that suffering woman on FB–I’ve seen too many odes sung to your bright spirit. 🙂

        I’m doing better. After a year of sinking down, a month of floating slowly up. I’m grateful. Much love, Ellen.

        Liked by 1 person

      • you must know, that you .. are one of the kindred spirits.. i have met on this journey. you are right about the quieter space of the blogs. i really needed to step away from the social media street. & reflect. & hopefully still have contact then with some of the people most important to me.

        i know you had a tough year, but i am glad to hear of rising health.

        from day 1 – i can’t recall how i first came across you on fb – probably one of the groups. but i was struck by both your photos & your writings. very beautiful. a reflection of you. i always looked forward to your blog posts. & continue to do so. much love…

        &.. in addition to touching my heart, you always make me laugh. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember a French foreign exchange student once complaining to me that everyone kept expecting him to be friends with the other French foreign exchange students. “The only thing we have in common is that we are French! I would never hang out with them at home!” he’d say.

    This illness is like a foreign exchange program where we get shipped off to another life, and we hang out with the other aliens because we all KNOW what it means to be alien. We are neighbors who care for each other and help each other grow in grace through catastrophe, but not necessarily hang-out-on-Friday-evening buddies.

    But you are one who would be my friend in any case. I suspect in another life you dragged me to art gallery openings and I dragged you to chamber music festivals, and then we loaned each other our favorite books. Hang on, dear friend and kindred spirit. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. i am lying here in the sun.. beautiful autumn day .. feeling mostly.. like i need to sleep again – which.. is always hard on these beautiful mornings.

    i so love what you wrote. yes.. we know what this is like & we are fierce in the way we hold hands in the darkness.

    but then there are those few that we truly.. connect with.. who enter our hearts in the ways that only souls who know each other do. you made me smile.. with the talk about art gallery openings & chamber music festivals. & loaning books. yes.. that is us. (i worked in a book store all those years ago…) this makes me a little teary, but it also fills my heart so much.. that i can now close my eyes in gratitude. this disease has that way of simultaneously allowing the heart to be so rich & full while.. also breaking it at the same time.

    so pray life is treating you well, my dear.. soul friend.. ❤


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