Late autumn has its own special rhythm in the northwest, when, color by color, the trees bid farewell to their leafy crowns and stand in spare elegance. The flashy maples go out with a riot of red, as if to say, we’re bad and we’ll be back! Others more modestly shed silver-backed discs or little yellow sails. Stately heralds of the season, they become all bark and branches reaching into the sky. Below them, the grass and sidewalk lay replete with a harvest of tints and shades and hues.
In the park a few stoic walkers populate the paths. Migratory birds land on the lake, wild feathers tucked away for a short rest amid raindrops. I lean toward a hedge to take a picture of winter berries and a tiny bird flits through the branches squeaking out an equally petite chit, chit, chit, then quiets.
Each week since mid-September the earth has slowly, gently, shed its summer energy as it slips into wintery slumber. Perhaps I am a devotee of fall because it feels so much like sanctuary. A place without too much but just enough. Ungarlanded and yet comfortable in its own lovely way.
Fall reminds me that my soul craves a place to retreat and reflect, to listen for that other voice, the one that restores and encourages and guides. A refuge where the spiritual part of me can just abide without a to-do list. Where the heart can call out to heaven and feel power, hope, love, curiosity.
In the fall, the trees give us new eyes. It is a time to see differently. To walk more slowly, finding answers, or perhaps more interesting questions, in our steps.