Orange and gold

On rainy mornings, Toivo and I have the neighborhood to ourselves. I don’t mind dog-walking in the rain, especially when the rain is light enough I don’t need an umbrella. This morning a hooded windbreaker, waterproof pants, and rain shoes kept me dry enough, and Toivo and I walked briskly, settling into a long, smooth stride that felt as effortless as my heartbeat.

Maple on maple

Today’s been a windy day, so the streets and sidewalks are plastered with wet, still-colorful leaves, like confetti after a parade. These days the Norway maples glow golden, complemented by fiery red and orange Japanese maples. The oaks, which are always the first to leaf and the last to lose, have begun to burnish bronze. These are the colors of late autumn, and they glean even brighter on rainy days, without the mitigation of sunlight.

As above, so below

November days are golden, and it’s true that nothing gold can stay. I’ve lived in New England long enough to know in my bones how gray and dismal the winter will be, so I fuel my inner fires with autumn light, a remembered warmth I’ll sorely need in future months.

Fourth wall

When I first started blogging, I shared only words, not pictures…but as soon as I started pairing word and image, the pictures began to take a life of their own.

Stinker was here!

Ever since I got my first purse-sized digital camera, I’ve taken lots of digital photos, and most of these have ended up languishing on my hard drive, stockpiled for a theoretical future date when I’ll need or want to revisit them. More recently, though, I’ve started posting photos to Flickr even if I have no clear idea of when or whether I’ll blog them. Instead of hiding these “maybe-babies” on my hard drive, I’ve begun to store them online so they’re there if I need them, or if anyone else is interested. It’s easier, after all, to find a tagged and titled photo on Flickr than it is to find an anonymous file in a nested folder on your hard drive.


These days it’s dark when I walk Reggie before teaching, and soon it will be dark when I walk him after classes are over, too. It’s difficult to take blog-worthy photos when it’s dark outside or on days that are nondescript and overcast. It makes sense, then, to have a stash of colorful images set aside for a gray or rainy day, spots of time stored online for future contemplation or even delight.

I shot today’s images last Sunday morning, before going to practice at the Cambridge Zen Center. Mindfulness, unfortunately, is a phenomenon that can’t be saved for a gray day: you can only find it Here and Now.

The Potluck

David Fichter’s murals look better on a sunny day…but it was raining when I arrived at the Cambridge Zen Center on Sunday morning, and I’m in the habit of taking a walk before sitting down to meditate. So despite the drizzle, I left my purse in the car and walked with just my camera and a raincoat: just me, the rain, and a neighborhood full of images.

The Potluck

In response to Rurality’s comment on yesterday’s post, today I’ve been sitting with a question: what is wrong with quick picture-posts? As a writer, I feel guilty when I post “just” a picture, yet I continue to stockpile more photos than I could ever blog, even if I posted “just” a picture a day. So what am I waiting for? Why am I saving images for a proverbial rainy day when I know the secret to successful blogging is simply showing up?

So here I sit on the evening of a sunny day sharing pictures from a rainy day. This is how Central Square, Cambridge looked on a wet Sunday morning, before I arrived at the Zen Center to meditate to the sound of raindrops. What better way to spend the morning of a rainy day?

If these rainy-day images of David Fichter’s “The Potluck” have left you hungry for more, you can revisit my sunny-day photos of “Sunday Afternoon on the Charles River,” another Fichter mural in Cambridge, MA. And if you still haven’t gotten your fill of photos, I’ve finally uploaded a photo-set from the May 3rd soccer match between the New England Revolution and the Houston Dynamo. Enjoy!