With views like this, life was anything but pedestrian this past week in the mountains of Colorado.
October makes me happy. It’s the time of year when my soul seems to rest and soar at the same time. As the days gradually get shorter I look forward to winter’s interlude and longer nights in front of a fire, even as I revel in the bright colors and brilliance of autumn. Knowing this season is a swan song does nothing to damper my spirit in October.
When the sun shines and the wind blows on autumn days, I’m delighted because the leaves dance.
Several years ago I wrote in more detail about dancing leaves. Little did I know that one day, after my husband retired from the Air Force, I’d be returning to live in the state that post was written about, where fall arrives quietly.
I didn’t expect to be here as October turns to November but today I’m still in the state of Virginia, where autumn arrives in a blaze of color and sensations. Although I’d like to sell my home and get this move underway, I can’t help but feel that God’s timing is allowing me to experience this shining season once more.
Through every long, hot, sweltering summer I wait for October. The month itself is my happy place.
October encompasses thirty-one days of transition during which summer lingers and obstinately hangs around, the first days of the month often acting like they belong to August, but eventually giving way to shiver inspiring mornings and nights that beg for fires to be lit.
The greens of summer hold on as long as they possibly can, reluctantly giving way to the yellows and golds that are the harbingers of nature’s last burst of celebration, when reds and oranges emerge in a blaze of glory before the woods settle into the deep sleep of winter.
I turn to the woods on October days. There’s solitude in them, and a peace that takes hold of my soul. Leaves twist and turn, caught by the wind as they flutter from high perches to take their place on the carpet of color at my feet. Small streams meander alongside, and often in the way of, well-worn walking paths. I stop, fascinated with the movement of light and color beneath and on top of the water.
On this 15th day of October, I sit on my deck, surrounded by the very woods I walk in, and I can feel the expectancy of the cacophony of color that lies in wait. It’s close. Within a week these trees will be glorious and I’ll try to spend as much time as I can among them.
As I wait I have memories of other autumns and other Octobers in other places.
I came into this world in October. When the time comes, I hope I also exit it during this glorious month. Before the first snow comes I want autumn leaves to rest on my grave.
My sister was born in April and her colors are those of the sea. She’s happiest when she’s got her toes in the sand and she’s gazing out on the ocean. She delights in lighthouses and the feel of a warm sun while listening to the sound of waves breaking on the shore.
I’m the opposite. My heart soars as the sizzling temperatures of summer break and I feel my blood quicken on those first mornings of fall when I step out the door for my morning walk and realize a trip to the coat closet is in order. I’m a jeans and sweatshirt girl.
My home is decorated in the hues of autumn. I lean towards deep browns, oranges and reds. Yellow has to be on the gold end of the spectrum. When I decorate my home for summer I tend toward the deep blues and reds of the Fourth of July rather than the bright pinks, greens and yellows of summer. This year I brought those hues into my home in preparation for several parties and it wasn’t until a few weeks ago when I switched them out to the colors of fall that I felt centered again.
I was born in October and my theory on the colors and hues that calm me center around the theory that we gravitate towards the things associated with our births. Am I drawn to fall colors because I associate them with the comfort of being held by my family and the first feelings of belonging that came during that time? Perhaps my early connections of birthday celebrations that happened in October and brought happiness tied themselves to the colors of that season. In any case, my hues are autumn’s hues.
It’s been four years since I’ve experienced a northern autumn so I’m pulling these photos out of my archives, most of them taken in Northern Virginia or Ohio.
My husband and I are in the process of our 24th move since we started our married and Air Force life together 36 years ago. We’re headed up to Omaha, Nebraska and although we might be a bit late for fall’s glory this year, I’m pretty sure I’ll see it in 2014. Because I’ve complained about the searing heat of Louisiana for five summers now my husband has decreed I’m not allowed to grumble about being cold when our zip code changes!
We’ll see how that goes….