A Tale of Autumn Leaves

As I share a “missing” from several years ago, I invite you consider one or more “missings” you may be having as we go through these challenging times together.

Recently a dear friend of mine shared about decorating her mailbox for autumn. She has a practice of doing this seasonally as well as for various holidays. As soon as I heard her mention “autumn”, no longer an experience for me here in Florida, I was reminded of the following that happened several years ago. 

Autumn Leaves Collage - Missing Autumn in New Jersey

At that time when another friend reminded me that autumn had started, I was thrown back into remembering my first autumn in southeast Florida where we don’t experience the seasons as they are up North. I had lived in the Northeast for my first 62 years, 37 of them in Central New Jersey.

As I started reflecting on the season, my body actually had the sensory experience of “missing autumn.” In a Photoshop Elements course at the time, where the assignment was to create a photo collage, I decided to create “Missing Autumn in NJ” to somehow bring Fall back to me.

The top is the photo collage I mentioned above. The other three images are my original “photo/drawings.”

Photo/Drawing of yellow and brown autumn leaves

Orange Autumn leaves - Photo/drawing

Brown autumn leaves in a photo/drawing by Sheila Finkelstein“Photo/drawing” is a term I created when I first developed this process using my photographs, new scanner and a pen with permanent ink to draw directly on the photos. They were the content that made up my first web site, Nature’s Playground. On it I stated:

We believe that the world is a playground for personal growth and development;that natural environments – gardens, woods, beaches, rivers, streams – are sources for pleasure, creativity, play and self-discovery; that expanding sensory awareness of natural and man-made environments provides access to furthering creative thinking and appreciation.”

Note: The following are queries that I posed several years ago when I first delivered the content that’s in this ​​​​​​​article.

Although today’s (2019’s) “missings” are likely many more and much more challenging than in the past, I invite you to reflect on them, perhaps in a new way.

When you’ve longed for something, such as when I was “missing autumn” several years ago, what actions do you take? Are you proactive, or do you stay in the “dwelling” on the longing?

Similarly when you find yourself in the midst of frustration, what is your response? And, if your ordinary response is not one that brings you fun, I invite you to find a means to “play” your way through the next time you find yourself in one of the above situations.

Please share on the blog, or in an email reply to me, your experience of what a biggest missing for you might be. It would be especially meaningful and helpful to all of us, I’m sure, to read any of the ways you might be able to bring “play” into your life if/when sadness and negative emotions seem to be running you.

As always, your response to the photos, queries and other comments are welcome. Please post them in the Leave a Reply section below.

Almost a PS – You can see more of my photo/drawing art on my Fine Art of America Gallery – click/tap on Sheila’s Gallery. When you click on any image on the right you’ll see options for different categories of products that the image can be placed on: Wall Art, Home Decor, Lifestyle, Stationery, and Phone Cases.

Should you visit Nature’s Playground to see more photo/drawings, and be interested in experiencing them on a variety of products, go directly to my Cafe Press Shop from the following link CafePress.com/natureart  When I just checked the NaturesPlayground.com site, I saw that the links from there that are supposed to go to my products need updating.


A Tale of Autumn Leaves — 2 Comments

  1. I feel this way about my latin dancing years. The ’90s was one of the best decades for latin music and clubs. They were everywhere I used to dance 3-5 nights a week in NY & NJ. My younger brother was my dance partner. Over that time we developed a circle of friends. There was always someone to dance with! Plus … great conversations for the rare times when we sat it out. I miss the camaraderie and dancing! It reminds me what an awesome time I had and that I’d like to do more of it. I have a large circle of friends but they’re mostly across the globe. I miss in-person community around one of my passions. I look forward to dancing again, Sheila. Thanks for the musing, love!

    • Thanks for sharing, Adela. I can feel/see you dancing. Although movement, feeling in our bodies, was almost always a piece of many of the online classes and programs of yours in which I was a participant, I don’t recall anything relating to dancing movements. Have you ever included that?

      Interestingly for me, consciously feeling in my body whenever those “instructions” were/are given, in any group, is something that almost never happened/happens for me. This is why the “Missing Autumn in NJ” feeling in my body at that time was so extra extraordinary and memorable for me.

      Enjoy autumn in New Jersey now for me, as it develops. If you are able to get out, please send some autumn leaves photos… probably more vivid in another month or so. BTW, the leaf photos in the post were taken in Metuchen.

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