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Reflecting on October
Will there ever be enough Octobers to appease me?
*** Today’s Friday Newsletter is a little lighter because I am traveling and didn’t get to the podcast and my reflection didn’t feel right in the motion of travel in a warmer climate. Instead, I wanted to reflect on October with you. ***
I shared on Instagram a string of photos from October, but I don’t know if I ever could share enough photos of October. October is everything I love about the garden, northern Michigan, and nature in one beautiful conversation that unfolds day-to-day amongst the landscape.
When the season is done I love to sit back and reflect on what has unfolded, where I am heading, and what the month has given me.
This month there was a lot. I have unraveled new parts of who I am as I have separated myself from my past career in a powerful way by dropping Fresh Exchange. I still love talking about gardening. In fact, I don’t love small talk but the fastest way to bridge from how’s the weather to talking about who I am, is to talk about the garden and growing things. I will unfold like a book and before you know it we will be good friends. The best people I have met know what it is to grow things with soil and the sun. This part of me will never change, but whether or not it is part of how I build a career has shifted. It is taking new shapes, but I am very happy to have launched this newsletter into a new space and level than I ever believed I could.
If you had told me a year ago I would be regularly writing and have a newsletter like this one I would have said, “That’s only a dream…maybe one day.” Well, one day found me in October of 2023 along with many other amazing transitions. I have never resonated more with the trees than I have this year as they release to make space for something new. Yet here I am doing what I never dreamed I could. The sacrifices have been oddly easy to swallow to shift into something that fills my soul the way writing and holding this space makes me light up.
I have told myself so many times as I navigate the complicated feelings of jumping from one chapter of my life into this one, which feels like the final step in this journey of no longer being an influencer…”You will never know what you would have gained if you don’t let it all go.” It’s so scary to walk away from one part of who you are, but here I have spent the month letting the trees show me just how beautiful and powerful it can be.
The garden during this transition has been incredibly beautiful and life-giving in its endings. The final blooms. The final tomatoes. The plants fading. All of it speaks to my soul in such an important way. I love watching endings unfold in nature. How much ease and acceptance happen in the process? Most of all though I love watching how everything in nature finds purpose for every stage of anything it grows. It has helped me reflect on the chapters and various fading parts of myself and how I can honor them. The ways I can let them feed the roots which will spring new growth soon enough. How the death of these bits of my own leaves are worthy of their own celebrations.
What October has given me though is a gentleness for myself and a maturing into who the last six months have revealed I am becoming at the end of my 3rd decade. I see the complexities of who I am and am in gratitude for all I know it is about to open up for me. There is still tension under the surface, but I am full of far more grace, patience, curiosity, openness, and more. I am learning to trust the quirks of who I have always been and seeing them as assets to the world rather than something to hide. I am seeing what is of true value and most importantly what isn’t.
In all the ways October was beautiful around the land we call home, I know the world is incredibly broken right now. There is so much to mourn. There is so much to find hopelessness in. I believe we can live a life that is beautiful and we can mourn for the world. Two things can exist. In fact, many things can be true and complicated. We can feel the weight of the world and be present and joyful for what we have right in front of us. Living fully aware of the complications of being human, not having the words, being heartbroken, and being in love with your life is all something that can exist. Nature has shown me over and over that things aren’t one or the other but everything at once and if a month can teach us that it is October.
What a month. What a complicated and wild ride it is to be alive in our world, yet here we are descending towards the shortest day of the year and being in November. Returning home after this trip, all I am feeling is the immense need to reconnect with the land and myself. To find grounding in caring for myself and the land that needs to be put to bed. I am ready to be lost in the art of letting go. I am ready to be chilled after the planting of the garlic. I am ready to fall in love once again with what it is to end a growing cycle and to return to the soil. I am ready for slow dark days waiting for snow to cover every inch of the landscape like a blanket that puts us to bed. I am ready for it all.
Paid subscribers get access to the Autumn Guide, which gives you an overview of all the ways to intentionally use this season for yourself to connect more with nature and self during this season.
This week, I also shared these posts for subscribers:
Learning to Let Go - Seasonal Essay
Celebrating the Endings - Last week’s free newsletter
Thoughts on Travel Mid-Season
Personally, I don’t like leaving in the Autumn season. I find it really hard to jolt from one season to another. Heading to Florida for a week over the turning point of Autumn wasn’t something I would call ideal. I like staying in the cycle of the seasons. If anything I love to leave at the end of March or the beginning of April just to remember what the sun felt like, but leaving in a season that I am feeling connected with and loving was a challenge. I left with a little chip on my shoulder if I am honest.
Nonetheless, I love to find the beauty and importance in any place I find myself in life. I knew this trip away was important for a couple of reasons. One, spending time with my grandparents who I missed seeing, and the rest of my family that is down here but also to soak in some great vitamin D and sunshine before easing into the depths of the cold months.
What I find just powerful about changing our routines and where we are in life is that we are given a chance to assess both what is working in our lives and what isn’t. In this case, this time has been good for that exact thing. I love home. I love Michigan. I love the smell of the earth descending into decay before the snow. I love all these things. There is no doubt that Michigan is home, but it can also feel good to get a new perspective, hit reset, and then remember what brings joy to me as well. In this case, it is being with people I love and enjoying the sight of Live Oaks holding moss or watching my kids discover new worlds.
All that to say, I used to skip over these points in my life when I left Michigan for a trip or vacation, erasing them from the story I shared thinking they weren’t interesting, but I think these parts are important. Leaving out the conversation about what it is like to leave a season and experience another for a bit. To share what I take away from these moments and why they are important to be in the season we are in.
Here are the things this week that I have been holding at the top of my mind and enjoying right now. Feel free to comment below anything you also love! I would love to hear in the comments. You all usually have some amazing things.
Reading: A local friend and artist,, began a Substack this last month and it is called On Beauty. This piece he shared about Iris Murdoch has been sticking with me this week. I find myself reading in Substack far more than anywhere else other than actual books. I really suggest giving him a follow.
Listening: To the Whooping Cranes and Mockingbirds. I deeply enjoy a slow morning and the thing that is one of the few things challenging about kids is that our mornings most of the week usually involve a lot of rushing and are far from slow till everyone arrives in their space for the day. So while on a break, I am finding pleasure in the slow morning and listening to the birds. I know that upon returning home tomorrow I will be thankful for the way I sat long enough with these sounds.
Wearing: Being in Florida right now, I am not wearing what you would be wearing in the North without a doubt, but I have been reminded how more is less when traveling. Finding versatile things that will withstand various weather is essential. These pants are my favorite for traveling ANYWHERE. I always wear them on flights because they are easy to clean, dry quickly, and are super comfy. Bonus they aren’t leggings, which can just be kind of blah sometimes. I love that they can transition with my entire wardrobe. I highly suggest them!
Doing: Running. I don’t really run for any other reason than just to keep my cardio up for winter sports. I like to be able to hold my own on the ski trail and more. Running is a great way to keep that up. I don’t do a fast mile or anything, but it is nice and I don’t like running in the heat so I get back into it once the cool weather blows in aka below 60 degrees.
Thinking about: Simpler routines of winter. I am thinking of slow meals and slow days with fewer layers to them.
Paying Attention: The moon and birds. The rental we have has a gorgeous view of the rolling swamps and landscape with a great view of the moon. It has been really fun to learn about some of the birds here in the mornings. Many birds that kept me company in June and July are here so it is nice to be amongst them for a moment.
I want to close with just a few moments from our trip that brought me a lot of joy.
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