A red leaf in my hand, wet with morning dew, made brighter by the dew. The coolness of the leaf on my skin is bigger than the space it takes up in my palm. A chill curls up my arm. I can feel winter in this little leaf. I love this little leaf.
All of the years I've been alive, wandering this Earth looking for something lost to me, I've longed for the woods and forest floor. It is quiet there. The forest holds me.
Each fall I write an ode to autumn of sorts. A reflection on the season and all it brings. It is a beautiful time of year, especially if you're lucky enough to be near forests where trees change their dress. Driving down a country road, I see one tree and then the next, each outdoing the other, and I think, How splendid this all is.
But where it really happens for me is on the forest floor, spending a long enough time in the hush of the woods to hear yourself think and then not think. And out of all of the years I've been alive on this Earth, I've never once felt like I've spent enough time in the woods. I've always left wanting more.
So in all of the years I've been alive, walking to and from responsibilities and then sleeping them off, this autumn I'm realizing that it's all in woods, in a leaf, in the sound of wind through the trees. My desires to travel all over the world, eat delicious meals, see unseen places, hear opera, dance in front of an adoring crowd, skydive... all of these little wants and more are just filler.
Now that it is autumn, I see it all comes down to this - my time alone in the woods walking any old way I want to and getting lost. An adventure I treasure amongst my most important treasures.
May you walk in the woods this autumn, and find a piece of peace that is as willing to hold onto you as much as you are willing to hold onto it.