Beauty Basics

From the desk of Teresa Jordan, Executive Director – I was recently talking to someone about my drive to Haliburton this week. She responded to my comments about enjoying the drive with the lament of, ” Too bad the leaves were not at their peak.”  While I did not take issue at the time, and probably just said, “Yeah, they do get very beautiful,” I have since been mulling over her reply.

Leaves at their peak seem to last about four minutes. So, for a really short window some autumn analysts declare that a certain region is at its most beautiful. 

What does that even mean? That the maximum number of leaves have turned before the majority have fallen? That the largest amount of different hues is present at the same time? That enjoying the changing leaves is completely a waste of time at any other juncture? 

No, really, I do understand the quest to see leaves at their most beautiful, but what do we miss out on while we are waiting for that peak? It is just like people that say – “I love the idea of learning to ride a horse, so when work slows down, little Johnny graduates from med school and I lose 40 pounds, I am definitely going to learn to ride, it will be tremendous. “

I just drove to Haliburton and yes, we are not even close to that colourful   autumn bounty, but there are leaves changing, there is a touch of colour and the crisp morning air created a kind of mist that accentuated the greens to be wondrous in their own hues. There was beauty all around and I just had to notice.   

I love the fact that most experts agree that perfectionism is a form of procrastination – this is largely because things like my slapdash approach to painting makes perfectly-oriented people cringe and because I know that waiting for the stars to line up takes a really long time. 

Yes, there is such a thing as a peak for most things, but there are plenty of almost-peaks, sort-of-starting-to-be-gorgeous, leaves-half-gone and still-lovely moments all over the place – a huge pile of moments for taking in the leaves exactly how they are, learning to ride and loving it exactly where you are, and just starting to paint like crazy while others perhaps rush to put up a drop sheet and take some pictures down. 

Trees make a fabulous back drop to any road trip any time of year; all we have to do is notice and let our presence and appreciation stay steadfastly at its peak!

Happy autumn!

Photo by Felix Mittermeier on

One thought on “Beauty Basics

  1. I absolutely LOVE this! I find it so sad when people say “Summer is so short! It’s almost over!” or “The leaves are beautiful but you know what that means–winter is coming!” Every stage has beauty; some are just more obvious than others. I heard a beautiful quotation recently that captured this idea: “Days pass and years vanish, and we walk sightless among miracles.” Amen to that, and thanks for a beautiful post.


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