Saturday, November 10, 2012

nature ushers in...

We went hiking yesterday at Hunter's Creek Park. After having hiked at peak foliage season a few times this year, all I could see at first was the absence of leaves.
The woods seemed barren and bleak. Then we came to the creek, and I saw a heron, perched mid stream and almost perfectly camouflaged there. Seeing it was a thrill, and I spent a few moments wondering at how graceful it was, and how large. As we walked on I began to notice the pines leaning out over the water as their roots clung to the eroding bank.
And I breathed in the sweet smell of decay as I looked at all of the brilliance of fall foliage turned to one color beneath my feet. And I saw fallen trees turned a deep, rich red in their decomposition. I saw milkweed pods, burst open and spilling perfect individual parachutes of hope and life out onto the breezes.
And it was so beautiful! It wasn't the lush and supple that is summer. It wasn't the brilliant and vivid that is early autumn. It was the letting go and simplifying, the preparation for, the life cycle of late fall. And I looked at all of those empty branches again,and saw how they were perfect. And I knew that they were waiting to hold the thinnest edges of snow, which would turn them into magical, sparkling, delicate reminders of how perfect it all is.

And I felt humbled and grateful and bursting with joy at it all.
This is why we go into the woods. To feel connected to the earth beneath our feet, safely held by the trees around us, pulled out of ourselves and into something bigger.

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