The Space to Feel and Experience More Joy
Kendra & Jacqueline, Co-publishers
Much like spring, autumn delivers a change in temperature and a burst of color as summer flowers turn the show over to the reds, golds and browns of glorious fall foliage. We again open our windows, allowing the crisp, cool breezes to induce a restful night’s sleep. Nature beckons us to walk the woodland trails while campfires scent the air, and the sounds of geese overhead remind us that we are all still in rhythm and harmony is possible.
When I was a child at this time of year, my family took part in our bi-annual housecleaning ritual. Windows were opened to let in the fresh air and linens were washed and hung outside in the sun to dry. Glass was made to sparkle and the house smelled like newly cut lemons. Childhood lessons tend to stick, and so even now I feel the pull to clear out and freshen up at this time of year. As we begin to prepare for the colder months ahead, autumn is a natural time to take stock of what we are holding, what we might need, and what we can let go of, in both a literal and metaphorical sense.
During a move years ago, a housewarming card from a friend carried the quote from the 19th-century British artist, illustrator and decorator William Morris, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” That sentiment helped shape decisions on all things from furniture and décor to items long stored in the attic and basement, and continues to be translated to all my eyes now see in our home. (I don’t spend much time in the attic, so there’s still plenty of work to be done!)
I’ve found that the suggestion to consider what is useful and beautiful, or resonant and necessary, can be extended to all areas of life–if we understand the words in a deeper way, we can ask which relationships bring meaning, carry us forward, help us be better people, make us feel alive, and loved. We can apply it to our activities and to the foods we choose: Is it useful to the health of my body? Does it taste amazing? Is the choice linked with a motivation rooted in the celebration of life, self or others? In our feature article, these concepts are illuminated as writer Ronica O’Hara speaks to how considering the “stuff” we have, and perhaps simplifying life, allows us space to feel and experience more joy.
We invite further consideration of more intentional living as we highlight the benefits of walking, breast health, and supporting our children as we all live into an ever-changing global environment. Self-care choices that refine time and space management can greatly deepen our quality of life and overall well-being; we’ve also shared a few recipes to bring color to your plates and joy to your palate. As the Autumn harvest emerges, we invite you to enjoy the moments and the beautiful change in the season at hand.
Kendra & Jacqueline