nature boy


there was a boy
a very strange, enchanted boy
they say he wandered very far
very far, over land and sea
a little shy and sad of eye
but very wise was he

and then one day,
one magic day he passed my way
while we spoke of many things
fools and kings
this he said to me:

"the greatest thing you'll ever learn
is just to love and be loved in return"

listen to nature boy HERE

fall things


the past couple of weekends have been a fall frenzy: apple orchards, pumpkin patches (or rather, heaping bins of pumpkins conveniently placed at the entrance of country stores), long walks in the woods, leaf piles, bonfires, and after the little one has gone to bed, scary movies. the changing season always makes me a little bit anxious: WE MUST DO ALL THE FALL THINGS!  but with andy in grad school and the shortened daylight, our weekends have been as fleeting as the fall itself - thank goodness october is a long month.  
a few weeks ago, andy and i started a list with all the words august knows. there are rules though because august repeats most anything you ask him to say, so a word only gets added if he uses it on his own, without prompt. also, since we are trying to raise him bilingually, both spanish and english words count and sometimes, the two languages converge in surprising ways. take the spanish word for fruit, for example. now before i go on, a quick lesson in elocution: the "f" sound is a challenging one for new talkers to make. so is the "r" sound. put the two letters together and it gets really tricky. SO instead of saying fruta, august pronounces it as [poo-tah]i will not translate the word, but let's just say that it's not appropriate for a spanish-speaking child's vocabulary. still, august knows what fruits are and he uses the word exclusively to refer to them, so on the list it goes!
speaking of words, the one august uses for pumpkins sounds a lot like "bath time". don't even ask.
THIS is one of my favorite places in the world: the c&o canal. i feel closest to my dad whenever i'm on the tow path and taking august there is like taking him to visit his grandfather. 
when we got home, i raked up a big pile of leaves to play in. august wasn't too sure about it initially and even after i fell backwards into the pile to show him it was safe, he still tensed up and gave a nervous laugh before requesting up! we tried a couple more times together until he got comfortable enough on his own. after that, you couldn't take him away from the leaves. he went well into the evening marching through it, kicking up leaves, and tossing them in the air. he smelled like rotting leaves, and i mean that in the best way possible.
a few more fall things you should check out if you haven't already:

+ arguably the best scary movie ever and it's just as good as the book
+ you can buy this version of my favorite fall treat, or you can just pop some popcorn and toss a handful of candy corn in it. either way, it's delicious
+ some other funny translations from bilingual kids
+ love this family costume idea, now i just need to get andy on board
+ apparently, i'm not alone in finding the nostalgia in the smell of rotting leaves

the morning times


ideally, i'm a morning person. waking up early and enjoying my solitude as the quiet world comes to life, fearlessly facing what lies ahead and embracing the unknown. there's so much possibility that lies within the transition between light and dark. i love the thought of matching my rhythm with daylight, slowly rising with the sun - that natural synchronization which occurs when you are somewhere remote; or the thought of taking it slow and watching the dim morning develop from grey to pink before the sun fully awakens; or lingering over coffee, dreaming and planning. the beginning of a new day is inspiring, full of hope and potential. ideally. there are two ways to fully appreciate mornings: the first comes after restful sleep and the other, by way of incentive. the reality is that i rely on the latter, which in my case is coffee. 
when ever i go back down to north carolina, part of the visit involves a tour of my favorite haunts. at the top of that list is the morning times, so much for its COFFEE, that draws you in with its warm buzzing neon, as its locally inspired everything - to me, there are few places more "raleigh". it's a quick IN and OUT (with corresponding doors labeled to help the flow of traffic) for those shuffling down the bar before work or  it's an invitation up creaky wooden steps to linger over espresso dregs in the upstairs gallery. art, coffee, food: all sourced from the community and proudly served with a latte heart. there's a feeling you get from places like that and mornings like those and every time i try to put my finger on it, it comes out dripping in coffee. ;)
p.s. check out oftreesandhues and taravictoria for more beautiful interpretations of mornings

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