Thursday, September 24, 2015

Feel The Change

The Autumnal Equinox has passed and days are getting shorter now. A change is in the air. I can feel it. It's time to face the stark reality that summer is over. Some people rejoice in that, but not me. Summer is my season. Winter is my adversary. It is a thief who steals my fun, even my health in some ways. And in the past I have not been terribly fond of fall. That is changing. I am beginning to see so much more beauty in this season, and learning to notice so many more details. As I become more mindful and aware I can see details and even hear sounds that escaped me previously. This leaf is an example -
I was on a walk during my semi-annual pilgrimage to Pathways Spiritual Sanctuary in the Black Hills (South Dakota) and happened to see it on the ground just off the trail. There was a time not too long ago when I'm sure I wouldn't have noticed it intermingled with so many other fallen leaves, pine cones and fairly thick brush. Or maybe I would have. It definitely stood out as one of a kind amidst the mostly pale yellow leaves covering the ground in that particular area. I'm just glad I saw it. The unusual and varied colors, lines, cracks and wrinkles make it unique, to say the least. It's tucked safely between the pages of a book at home now. Maybe I'll forget about it and many months or years from now I'll open that book to rediscover it and remember the day in September when it found me.

The Sanctuary is an amazing place. I make it a point to visit at least twice a year, generally in the  late spring and early fall. It's a special place. I always feel a certain energy from the moment I pass under the entrance sign and through the door.

It's a calming subdued energy. It is a place to be still. I am completely grounded there. Sometimes there are other visitors and sometimes I am the only one, as was the case on my most recent visit. Only me and Mother Nature. And we got along just fine.

Throughout the Black Hills this time of year you will see the wonderful colors of autumn. I stopped a few times on my way home to snap a picture of some scene that caught my eye, like this one -

I am learning to appreciate these scenes more. But there is still some sadness about summer being taken away from me. I wasn't done with it yet. So, once again, I turn to my old friend John Denver for some comfort... this time from Poems, Prayers and Promises. He seemed to share some of my same feelings about the subject. Funny how often music tends to make its way into these conversations -

Reflections on the water like shadows in my mind
Speak to me of passing days and nights and passing time
The falling leaves are whispering winter's on it's way
I close my eyes remembering the warmth of yesterday
It seems a shame to see September swallowed by the winter
And more than that it's oh so sad to see the summer end
And though the changing colors are a lovely thing to see
If it were mine to make the change I'd let it be

But I don't remember hearing anybody asking me

Roger O'Dea       9/24/2015