As the summer comes to an end, I find myself reflecting on the importance of being present and taking notice of the little things. I always feel like the second half of the year goes by faster than the first. Settled into a comfortable routine, my days at the farm begin to blur together, while my personal time is filled with planning and celebrating back-to-back birthdays and holidays. Before I know it, I’m wearing sweaters, drinking tea, scraping ice off my car, and ringing in the New Year.

So with some effort, I’d like to pause and remind myself that this is, and always will be, my favorite time of year. I don’t want to ignore the signs of fall or it will pass before I notice. I want to watch flocks of migrating geese overhead and appreciate every hour of sunlight as the days get shorter. I want to acknowledge every tree that changes color on my commute and remember the first day I can see my breath in the morning.

Author Annie Dillard wrote, “It is astonishing how many people cannot, or will not hold still. I could not, or would not, hold still for thirty minutes inside, but at the creek I slow down, center down, empty…I retreat – not inside myself, but outside myself, so that I am a tissue of senses. Whatever I see is plenty, abundance. I am the skin of water the wind plays over; I am petal, feather, stone.” These words speak to me as I think about being present in the new season.

When there are too many distractions pulling me away from the present moment, it is easy to feel imbalanced and discontent. I hope to “slow down, center down, empty” so it is easier to be fully aware of all the subtle ways the earth is changing. And I wish the same for all of you! Remind yourself to pause and notice all the little things that make you smile during this time of year, even if it is only for a moment.