Yesterday was one of those unbelievably perfect fall days--skies so blue they make you feel like an M80 went off in your chest, sun shining, warm, but not too hot. With a day like that, I couldn't go to my windowless gym and spend time 'walking' on a machine. I went home, grabbed my camera and my bike and headed into the park. It amazes me sometimes how much time can pass between my visits. I live a block away, yet sometimes weeks can pass without me finding myself in the forest or down in the holler.
Summer has been winding down in valley for some time now, even if it seems less obvious in the concrete jungle above where the pavement still cooks in the sun and it feels every bit like summer is still doing keg stands at 3 AM, oblivious that last call was hours ago. (For tomorrow, the first official day of fall, the weather forecast is calling for a high of 88F.) I headed out through the playground and began my descent along the hillside. I came around a bend to find this beauty shining in the canopy--hello Fall!
I got down to the valley floor, and rode straight into the unrelenting sun for a bit before looping around to have it at my back as I poked up the single-track next to the stream. I love this light and the glass-like surface of the slow moving water. After uploading these photos to my computer, I flipped through my folder of pictures from the park and noted at how the deep, lush green of June and July had faded to these muted yellows and light greens. It happens every year, yet never fails to captivate me and fill me with wonder. These small, gradual changes occur before our eyes every day, yet only when flipping through a collection of these moments captured in time does the profound contrast really strike me.
I like fall. I like to watch the world gradually wind down, pulling its energy inward, slowly closing up shop in preparation for the approaching long days of winter. I like to see the cycle of life in action at each of its stages, savoring the flavors, colors, and textures of each one. I don't want to live in a perpetual summer (or spring or winter or fall) because it is only in the movement between the seasons that each fully comes into its own, and we are able to fully appreciate its gifts.
|Ragged butterfly rests at the end of a long, hot summer.|
|There is beauty in every stage of life.|