Path in the Western North Carolina Mountains (Hali Karla Arts)Western North Carolina Mountains in the Fall (Hali Karla Arts)Western North Carolina Mountains in the Fall (Hali Karla Arts)Cathedral in the WNC mountains with Prisma app, (Hali Karla Arts)Western North Carolina Mountains in the Fall (Hali Karla Arts)WNC mountain trail, light and dark, Hali Karla Arts

This time of year is my absolute favorite palette. Rich layers, deep tones and changing colors with both bold and soft moments of exclamation… and this understanding within, that you best pause to take it in because only the temperatures know if the change will be swift or steady.

The temperatures fluctuate quite a bit where we live in the WNC mountains.

Some nights are cold, like you’d expect in the fall, and some days hot like summer. It will likely continue to swing around a bit before settling on a more consistent, cooler time of retreat in the winter.

I find that my creative visual practice slows a bit with autumn. Because I know there will be plenty of indoor time soon enough, and because… well, I’m a bit like a bird… shiny things and vibrant colors delight me, and it’s time to let the rhythms slow, while the nest is tidied and tended.

The cool air is a promise to my soul, and grounds me in my skin and feelings. It says, This life is precious and oh-so-fast. Take notice. Be present. Celebrate creation, living around and within you.

There can be a solemnity to the rhythm and reflection, too. But it is not to be feared or fought. Just felt. Part of the mystery of all that beckons, shifts and transforms in the cycles of our consciousness.

I think often of how we co-create with this awareness.

Of how spirit speaks to us in so many ways – always trying to reach us in languages we can receive. Calling us home, right where we are. Often surprising us with connections and wonders we couldn’t see before.

I also find comfort in the reminder that those who have gone before are not separate from us. They are with us, and we are with them. That there is a flow between times and lives, between heaven and earth. Especially in this beautiful time of year, when we reflect and celebrate on ancestors, saints and souls.

The changing colors and falling leaves speak of what is holy to me. Bold reds, oranges and yellows surrounding, and the crunch of transformation beneath my feet – it is a language I can understand.

The woods become cathedrals of remembrance.

Brightness, with rich layered depth, is a promise and validation I can feel. In its presence I am whole, devoted, surrendered, ready, re-filled. There is healing and relief from the intensity and stimulation of our times.

I wonder how this time of year speaks to you and your creative self in your place in the world… if you’ve been able to slow down a bit, to wander and listen.

Whatever it says, may you listen openly for the languages you naturally respond to, and receive the inspiration and love being offered.

Hali Karla

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