Of all the seasons, I have to admit that Fall has always been a favorite for me. Growing up in the northeast, I had the privilege of witnessing the myriad of colors nature presented year after year as the warm summer nights wained into cooler evenings and days. As the days got shorter it seemed the colors got brighter, changing the landscape from summer green to blankets of yellow, red, and orange.
On a misty, foggy morning I step foot out the front door of my house feeling the coolness in the air surrounding me. I take a few deep breaths, grateful for this day and the beauty which abounds. As I gaze forward from where I stand, I notice the ever so subtle changes in color that seemed to have occurred while I slept. There are now a few red leaves on the maple tree, hovering near the top, a sign that change is in the air. The wind gently touches my face, awakening me to all the wonder. It’s quiet and calm, for no one is yet to stir. I stay here for a few more minutes, breathing, listening to the sounds around me, the ever so subtle drip of water from the porch, the tiny rabbit scurrying through the grass, the wind gently whistling through my ears. Life is good!
This summer, we moved from central Texas back to the northeast. It’s been a while since I’ve lived in this part of the country, and oh how I’ve missed it. While I’ve loved a lot about all the places I’ve lived, there’s something about the northeast (especially this time of year) that just fills my soul. As a runner, part of what I love about this area is that trails are literally everywhere here, whether in a nearby park, a state forest, on random paths winding through farmland that owners have opened for recreation, Rails to Trails, or the Appalachian Trail (AT).
Yes, I live just minutes from an AT access point, and there are several other access points within a short drive along this trail spanning from Georgia to Maine. Since living here, I’ve enjoyed hiking and running parts of the AT, biking along the Rails to Trails, and both biking and running on trails in the parks/forests nearby.
Today’s adventure on my mountain bike took me along the trails in a local park near my house and by the entrance to the AT. I was blessed along the route with beautiful colors, the feeling of the crispness of Fall in the air, and just time for peace, calm, and reflection. Can life get much better than this? I’m grateful for this opportunity I had today to be immersed in the outdoors and to witness this amazing transition between seasons.
Are the leaves starting to change where you live? Is it starting to feel more like Fall, aside from all they pumpkin spice offerings in the local coffee shops ; )? If not, maybe plan an adventure to find it! When we lived in TX, fall came much later in the year and was much shorter than what is typically experienced in the northeast, so instead of it coming to us, we set out each year to find it, usually within a state park or natural area. Lost Maples State Park was one of my all time favorites for experiencing fall there. Where ever is it that you live, take time today to enjoy the outdoors, to immerse yourself in nature, whatever the weather or season may be knowing that “in every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” ~ John Muir ~ I can truly attest that in my ride today, nature most definitely offered me far more that I sought out to receive!