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Moments in Autumn, at Dawn

November 16th, 2008

We’ve settled in to that late autumn weather pattern with cold nights and mild days.  Which means gathering wood and sitting around a warm fire on those chilly evenings.   I always feel like this is my favorite season, and I’m not sure why.  All the seasons are wonderful, but there’s something about a crisp fall day that I just love.  The run of holidays and special times that brings promise and hope, or maybe the lead in to a new year. But it’s more than that.

I’m finally feeling human again, and made it outside for a bit this morning to join the ritual of the fall hunt.  It was a quiet, blue sky dawn, just below freezing with the wind rustling gently through the trees.  A few birds darted here and there, and the gray squirrels chased each other, prancing about in the trees.  And then, about 200 yards off, my heart quickened as I saw the breakup of tawny brown feet moving slowly between the trees.  It disappeared for a short time, only to reappear farther off, and there against the backdrop of sky I saw, for a moment, the shadowed silhouette of a majestic buck standing tall against the light of dawn.  It moved off with a determined pace in search of a doe, and I wished it well…  

Missouri oak hickory forest in November

Well, I also wished it would come back towards where I was…  But it was not to be and I enjoyed another hour of a peaceful morning in the forest.   It was a moment of joy, of excitement, of peace, of beauty.   And that for me is the greater part of the autumn season.  It doesn’t matter whether I succeed or not, because I’m already part of the day, part of the whole, and where I want to be.  Eventually, if I am lucky or determined enough, or perhaps both, I may also join the harvest and have meat in the freezer for the winter. 

Do you have a favorite season?   Or some part of the season that awakens something within?  Of course to have a favorite season means you are somewhat familiar with the seasons themselves, either far enough north or south in the world’s hemispheres to experience such change.  Many prefer to live where it’s warmer or moderate all year round, and the seasons are marked more by the school year or the type of sports or festivals taking place.  Maybe the “rainy season” is the biggest change for the year?   

For now I need the seasons in my life; to feel the changes taking place, and experience the dramatic swings in temperature, plant growth, cloud and snow.  This morning I felt so alive as my fingers and cheeks grew cold, the squirrels danced, and the light shimmered through the trees.  I hope I always feel that way.

One Response to “Moments in Autumn, at Dawn”

  1. Ed Abbeyon 16 Nov 2008 at 6:11 pm

    I’m with you on fall being the best of the seasons.

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