There has been more than a little space between blog posts recently, and it’s not for lack of what to say. Rather, it’s due to time spent being in the world where, I am grateful to say, I have found myself in good company and laughing.

Playing, I said.
Living, came the response.

And in this moment, quite so.

Where I pause, however, is when I stop to consider the gulf between my small corner of the sky and the big, wide world around me. That’s when it’s hard to laugh, hard to remain positive, hard to stomach what I read in the news with my students every day. We’ve had beautiful sunshine lately and that affects my mood, too. Fall can be a quiet, contemplative time but lately it hasn’t been. It has been lively and full and it’s easy to get swept away in that. I need to remind myself to take stock, to take a step back. I am so lucky to be here.

A year ago we started watching this tree as the leaves changed, as the days grew colder and the nights crisper. We watch nature because we are at home in it, because it’s beautiful, because it quite literally soothes the soul. And we spend as much time out in nature as we can because we know that pleasant temperatures don’t last forever.

Lately I’ve been laughing a lot, despite what’s in the news and what we expect for winter in Europe. I cannot change the world’s geopolitics but can put into the world what I believe should be part of it. To this end, I’ve been laughing with someone who reminds me to slow down, to take it easy, to take time away in order to be present with what is there.

Here now in autumn, leaves change. Colours change. The way that we approach one another during times that many of us, to varying degrees, find profoundly unsettling, can also change. We can choose to be a little kinder, a little more open, a little more honest. We can look for reasons to laugh, to play, to live.

And in the world that I believe should be, we stand up together and support one another because that creates “us” and when there’s just “us” rather than “us and them”, that creates peace. We all laugh, after all, and peace means finding commonalities and making them count.

So I’ve been out in nature and laughing. And I hope this post, and my wish for the world, inspire you to get out there, as well.

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