Sunday, November 6, 2011

On The Path To Wow

On the Path to Wow

Leaving the post office after mailing a few Halloween cards, I turned into the roundabout that clasps our city center and spied him. Sitting on a small hill to the right of the library, his goatee twitching as he focused his gaze like a spotlight on the four tall cryptomeria trees that stand sentinel around the town fountain. Bert. The worker bee responsible for the design and execution of our city’s annual metamorphosis out of the ordinary world and into a wonderland of fairy lights, candy canes and Christmas trees. Glancing over my shoulder I could now easily see the two city trucks, full of ladders and lights, sitting on ready to begin the festive work.
Christmas Lights? Really? Well, I suppose, considering that it takes them several weeks to complete this task, and taking into account that the lights will be switched on in less that 30 days.... no doubt this is taking place precisely on schedule.

It seemed that everywhere I went that day people were shaking their heads at the speed in which the calendar pages were turning.
I can’t believe it’s almost November”, said the lady at the cleaners as she handed me my favourite black blazer, the jam stain now removed from its cuff.
Where did the summer go?”, asked the grey-haired gentleman who pushed his cart alongside mine as we both stocked up on Halloween candy.
Where indeed?

Later that afternoon, Edward and I were strolling along on our afternoon walk, our pathway strewn with the fallen scarlet maple leaves of autumn. I thought back to this same pathway in April, when the first hopeful tulips stood, new-baby pink and arrow straight, in garden after garden. I remembered our twilight walks of July, when the heady fragrance of honeysuckle and rose seemed virtually woven into the heavy humid air. I recalled our bundled up rambles in January when the colours of the day were charcoal and silver and our breath turned to fog right before us.
Cliche as it sounds, it seemed like only yesterday.

As I followed along behind Edward, I considered the now disappearing year, and it occurred to me, once again, that the natural world gives all we need to know about life - its calendar blending seamlessly with the seasons of our own existence - from carefree springtime to contemplative fall. We are all on a pathway of sorts, one often so crowded and noisy we sometimes find it hard to see all the wonders we are passing by.
There are those who hold their faces up to the sun, their ears tuned to bird song, their eyes trained for beauty.
There are those who rush along, forever looking down.
Uphill. Downhill.
There are times when we all walk alone.
Some of us can only see miles and miles of colour stretching out endlessly before us like a napping rainbow - the grass greens of May, the golds of September. Some of us - squinting perhaps, our hand over our disbelieving eyes to see a bit better in the light of the sun - can almost spot the point where the pathway might end.

Like most of the world, I was sorry to see the departure of the visionary, Steve Jobs. His remarkable journey ended far too soon. Tears pricked my eyes when I read of his last words. Looking past his family, into the space behind them, he was heard to say,
Oh wow. Oh wow. Oh wow”.
No matter where we are in the journey, be it winter or spring, those are the words I believe we all will be saying when our pathway runs out. And from Halloween candy to Christmas lights, I mean to enjoy the ride.
Wishing you all a most happy November!

The secret of life is enjoying the passage of time
Any fool can do it
There ain't nothing to it.
Nobody knows how we got to
The top of the hill
But since we're on our way down
Might as well enjoy the ride

Isn't it a lovely ride
Sliding down
Gliding down
Try not to try too hard
It's just a lovely ride

James Taylor


  1. I am pleased to be the first to comment on this beautiful and deeply spiritual piece of writing Pamela - this is just divine prose. Thank you.

  2. Hello Pamela:
    We feel that it is one of life's greatest luxuries to have the time to stand and stare without having to perform to an imposed rhythm of work. How charmingly you describe here the beauty of Nature and the simplicities of everyday life and the usual dealings with ordinary people. There is such splendour in the mundane, it is just a question of opening the eyes to have a closer look and thinking differently.

  3. thank you Pamela. I have loads of free time. I can do
    as I wish most days...but I blow the hours off endlessly
    thinking of tommorrow or yesterday. stop...look and listen..if only to my heartbeating.

  4. Hello Pamela

    What a beautifully written tribute to life, this year and the seasons. This morning on walk/run on the beach I was reminding myself to be aware of the sounds of the waves and shorebirds.
    Thank you for shining a light on today
    Helen xx

  5. Wondrous world, wondrous life; for Steve Jobs, perhaps, a wondrous death. I am glad that each of my days are so very full!

  6. Wise and beautiful philosophy, Pamela, - expressed with such enduring wonder.

  7. I love that James Taylor song. Steve Jobs too. And you too.

  8. First, the photo took me way back to a time when my brother and I were that looks so familiar. And I agree with Cait and The French Basketeer..I couldn't have said it better.

  9. Lovely Autumnal post Pamela. Nobody does Christmas better than you do over there, so I am not surprised that it starts early.
    Yes, we do all take a road through life and we also (as Robert Frost so wisely said) leave some roads untaken. Living in the country it is easy in day to day life to appreciate the tiny changes but I am sure it is possible in the town too except that some folk are in too much of a hurry - sad for them.

  10. Oh Wow, oh wow, oh wow - how I love to read your blog and see through your eyes - Thanks...B:)

  11. Great post..wonderful words..thank you..I love the image..I gave this picture framed as a gift to my husband last summer..

    Have yourself a lovely autumn day dearest..

  12. I love that I have now followed you thru several seasons Pamela..each time I come along and read your thoughts on a new is like coming home. :)

    Jeanne :)x

  13. Ahhhh, just to be still for a moment and soak in the life around you....your post is a beautiful reminder. Thank you!

  14. This beautiful, thoughtful piece of writing is very close to my own thoughts right now. Thank you, dear Pamela. Don't you think it's the end of the year (as Christmas approaches) that we are mostly likely to notice how quickly time has flown? The contemplative season, indeed.

    I recently changed my blog header/post; after months of being stuck on "summer," it felt so good to become more attuned with the season.

  15. the song writer and
    edward and apple...
    are so blessed to have such an
    enchanting creature in their home and in their hearts!
    thank you for yet another beautiful post.
    tammy j

  16. If I stay present in the moment, time seems to expand, when I "remember" time, it flies by. Funny that. Lovely post. November (and very snowy!) greetings from the forest!

  17. Such a lovely post! I try to be like a dog! They live in the moment; don't bear grudges, forgive instantly when you step on their paw, and are ecstatic to see you regardless of how long you are gone!

  18. This photo is my all time favorite image ever. Just last week I showed my son a vintage copy of The Family of Man and we talked about this photo for a long time.

  19. Such a beautiful post. Thank You so much!

  20. I had the same reaction when I heard about Steve Job's last words.
    My Steve and I have made changes in our life to reflect our appreciation for the limited time with have. We want to appreciate every moment.
    Reading your posts is a wonderful way to spend some of those moments. They always help me to keep perspective.


  21. I learned from your blogpost of Steve Job's last words. You are a beautiful writer. I loved this.
    Thank you!

  22. It is indeed a lovely ride - but much too short. As always a wonderful post.

  23. Your words were particularly poignant and timely as friends of ours can indeed "spot where the pathway ends" for one of them. Thank you for providing the words I have been unable to find.

  24. We must celebrate the waning of the year with its special magic. We grasp every vanishing beauty.

  25. There really should be a law about no winter holiday lights before Thanksgiving, but it sounds like your town waits to flip the switch. Speaking of switches, I love how you capture the change of season in this post, ending it all with James Taylor makes me smile. I was thinking of the Circle Game by Joni Mtichell but you already blogged about that one. I love that photo too. Now off into the morning frost for me.

  26. Pam, I just found your blog...glad to have seen you Saturday night and now connecting here. (this is Judi) The photo you used was a card that I gave Butch within the first year of our marriage...heading into the woods together. We still have it. Love the image and the thoughts of the cycle. Yes!
    it's all right there for our observation and discovery.


I love to read your comments! Each and every one! Though I'm always reading your comments, I may not respond in the comment section. If you want to write me directly, you may do so at Thank you for reading!