As summer comes to an end, the temperature drops, and skies become brilliant blue when not covered by fog and clouds. Color touches the trees, presaging the bareness of winter, and I feel called to wake up after a somewhat dreamy time. What do I want to carry into the cold season, out of the summer’s light and warmth?
It’s been quite an intense summer for me, with my first-ever experience of surgery, some dramatic flooding and hailstorms, and my 52nd birthday — now I’m playing with a full deck! I’ve spent a lot of time looking back over that half century, grateful for all it has brought me, and wondering how I can move even more toward healing some of its hurts.
One of the great gifts of midlife for me is that I now recognize how things I resisted or didn’t want at the time have actually brought me unsought benefits, of learning or strength or new insight. I hope in whatever years that remain to me I will not be so resistant, that I will be more open to what life wants to offer. And so the next chapter begins …
My last “Make me read it” post was a success, as I duly read and posted about L’étranger by Albert Camus. Also this month I read a number of outstanding nonfiction books, along with some favorite fantasy rereads. I can highly recommend each and every one of them.
- Archer’s Goon by Diana Wynne Jones – Reread
- It Didn’t Start With You by Mark Wolynn
- Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones – Reread
- What Matters in Jane Austen? by John Mullan
- When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
- Wise Child by Monica Furlong – Reread
- Prairie Fires by Caroline Fraser
I’ve really enjoyed teaching English on italki for the past two months. My own language learning has gone a bit by the wayside, but I want to try to pick that up in the fall. Good intentions cost nothing, fortunately.
I looked back at a trip we took in July, to the Goms Valley region in Canton Valais. And this month we plan to visit Tessin, the Italian-speaking region of Switzerland, so I hope to have some more pretty pictures for you soon.
Linked at The Sunday Post at Caffeinated Book Reviewer, and the Monthly Wrap-up Round-up at Feed Your Fiction Addiction
27 thoughts on “Month in Review: September 2021”
Buon viaggio for when you visit Tessin, Lory! And congratulations on your achieving a full deck. 😊
Thanks Chris, I’m glad to still be here, plugging along.
Here is my link:
Thanks so much, and thanks for stopping by!
I was completely surprised by my fifties. That was a calm decade. It was almost as if I could see my final destination was just ahead, and I could focus on the delights of the last few miles.
I really want to get back to my language learning, too. It helps me to have a goal, generally a travel goal, and right now I don’t have one of those. Maybe I’ll set a gentle goal, just to get me going again.
I’d be grateful for a calm decade after the turmoil of my forties. We’ll see what comes next. Hope you find a good language learning goal, I’m always interested to hear about those.
I’ve always found L’étranger fascinating in its deceptive simplicity. When I studied elementary French, it was a text book, because the language is simple but the ideas are challenging. Maybe it still is used.
I’m with you on Diana Wynn Jones — love her books!
best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com
I think the book is often used in elementary French classes for the very reasons you mention. I was glad to return to it on my own and at a more mature age, I think I understood it better now.
I hope winter is less worrisome.
Wishing you a great reading week
Thanks Shellyrae, you too!
Happy belated birthday!
A nice thing of older age is that we can start seeing our younger years from a broader perspective. Things that at the time seemed too challenging or pointless turn out to have led to unsuspected new fruit and deeper happiness.
Exactly. I miss the energy and possibilities of my twenties, but not the cluelessness.
Happy Belated Birthday!
Camus…that name rang a bell so I checked my Goodreads. I see I have a TBR Kindle edition of the book you just read and reviewed, which I could SWEAR that I’ve already read, but according to GR I have not??? Looks to be a short book so maybe I can find out this week if I’ve read it or not. lol
It is short, so should be pretty simple to look into.
It’s so interesting to me how you spoke of being fifty-too, and working towards healing some of life’s hurts. We are all in process, I think, of resolving what wounded us, or what we could have done. Even now, I’m trying to find balance in lessening my overwhelming expectations and giving up entirely. (One of the greatest benefits of my faith is trusting that things have worked for good under God’s care.) May we find peace and healing in all situations. xo
Amen to that. 🙂
What a nice selection of books you read. Prairie Fired looks interesting.
It is interesting that you mentioned being able to look back at the things you resisted when you were younger and see that they actually brought you benefits. I think that is one of the best things about midlife – not resisting so much and being more open and able to embrace whatever comes our way. Thanks for your thoughts!
Have a good week!
Thanks Gretchen. Prairie Fires was fascinating!
This is a great insight and goal –> ” I hope in whatever years that remain to me I will not be so resistant, that I will be more open to what life wants to offer.” I have a birthday next month (my final one in the 50s) so I need to follow your advice too!
If only I would always follow my own good advice … Happy birthday in advance, and may life bring you many good things.
Your trip to Goms Valley looks like it was absolutely lovely. I hope it renewed your spirit. Happy October!
There are so many lovely places in Switzerland, I just got back from another amazing trip I’m looking forward to sharing with you. 🙂
Glad the teaching is going well.
Those are two of,y favorite DWJs.
My book group read When BreathBecomes Air. I wouldn’t have chosen it but I wound up liking (when I wasn’t gropingfor Kleenex) it.
Those are two of my favorites as well. I go back to them over and over and never get tired of them.
I felt I had to read When Breath Becomes Air because of all the rave reviews – and as is not so often the case, found they were completely justified.
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