There is an emanation from the heart

which cannot be described,

but is immediately felt and puts

the stranger at his ease.

~Washington Irving

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough...

.........and more.

It turns denial into acceptance,
chaos to order, confusion to clarity.

It can turn a meal into a feast,

a house into a home,

a stranger into a friend.

~Melody Beattie

Don't be satisfied with stories,

how things have gone with others.

Unfold your own myth.

May my life be like a great

hospitable tree, and may

weary wanderers find in

me a rest.

~John Henry Jowett

Sunday, 28 September 2014

The Indian Summer Continues........

It was so surprising when I first heard the term "Indian Summer" in Britain.  An Indian Summer is what Americans all hope for at the end of summer.  It means summer continues just a little bit longer, the weather is just a little warmer than normal, and winter is put off for a few weeks. The phrase has travelled across the Atlantic, and lately we've been hearing it every day from the BBC weather-folk, but I don't think most people in Britian quite knows where it comes from.

The origins of the phrase are uncertain but it did originate in the United States, and refers to the indigenous Native Americans, or 'Indians'.  The explanation that I like the best, and I think fits the best, is that it refers to a warmer and milder than normal autumn, and was a favorite time for hunting.  It meant the tribe could stay longer in their summer hunting grounds, which meant more hunting and gathering to get them through the winter.

"I cannot endure the waste of anything as precious
as autumn sunshine by staying in the house. 
So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air."
                                       ~Nathaniel Hawthorne

No matter the origins, there is nothing more beautiful than an Indian Summer day, especially in Oxford which is about as far removed from Indian hunting grounds as you can get.  The golden light bouncing off the golden stone never ceases to amaze, and like the American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne, I don't want to waste of a second of this lingering autumn sunshine.

"Winter is an etching,
Spring a watercolor,
Summer an oil painting,
And autumn a mosaic of them all."
                               ~Stanley Horowitz

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