We are having our first storm of the season.
These are the days when we really get used to the idea that winter is on its way in earnest.
This is when we break down and put on the warm sweaters and boots and keep the umbrella by the door.
There is a golden melancholy to these diminished hours, the leaves falling all around us, reminders that the serious business of nature's cycles carries us along on its endings as well as its beginnings.
But there is a marvelous symmetry in the gracefulness of time as it moves forward, giving us these precious few weeks of gilded light before we are plunged into the cold and darkness of winter.
Here along the edges of wilderness, the sky falls down to meet the landscape, with misty clouds obscuring hillsides and tree tops, changing by the moment and limiting our view.
Now we are no longer seeing the big picture, but rather a more focused vision as our world moves with nature to find cozier places away from the cold.
We are suspended in time, as this year's experiences start to fade away, ready to be transformed and recycled to feed next year's renewal.
Walking along on a beautiful fall day, kicking the leaves and marveling at the diversity of colors, forms, and shapes reminds us that nature is indiscriminate in its encompassing embrace, with wisdom gathered over eons of time and space.
Ever evolving and adapting to the swirling winds of change.
As nature's children, we have learned this rule as a key to survival.
Even in this modern age, we must adapt and change as we move forward.
So as we prepare to close out this year, let's give thanks for this remarkable ability to weather whatever life may lay at our feet.
Gathering the leaves of time, treasuring the most beautiful memories for safekeeping and sweeping the rest away to be transformed into composted food for thought.
For next year's delightful gardens of enlightenment.
When true friends meet in adverse hour,
'Tis like a sunbeam through a shower.
A watery way an instant seen,
The darkly closing clouds between.
- Sir Walter Scott -