The days of autumn are slowly fading as winter is just itching to make her presence felt. Oh, there is still much to enjoy in this beautiful season. There are maple trees that are ablaze in color. I love the contrast of trees; some with bare branches while a neighboring tree fights ferociously to hold on to what leaves she has left. The sunsets seem to be so much more dramatic. Let’s not overlook the sunrises which not just usher in the new day but awaken the soul and spirit to breathe in deep and prepare for what is yet to be. Squirrels are scurrying about, burying their winter and spring supplies, to keep themselves fed. There is a great deal going on…if we just take a moment and take it in.
I was up and out of the house for my early morning run/walk, per usual. The sun was slumbering, just barely peaking over the eastern horizon. The air was not what one would say “crisp,” but cool enough. There was an intense silence; a quiet that almost convinced me I ought to be back home, in bed, with the covers pulled high over my head. No thank you. There is a unique joy being up and out so early. It’s like the day is all mine and I’m selfishly going to keep it to myself.
Yes, there was silence, but that was broken in a very particular manner. I turned toward the north and there, in the slowly brightening sky, the first of the geese formations making their yearly pilgrimage to their “holy land,” that being warmer climates far to the south. These amazing creatures, blessed with such instinct trek thousands of miles each autumn, escaping the Union and settling somewhere deep in the Confederacy. There’s no war, aside from all these winged visitors trying desperately to find a place to nest and bear their young. Enough room for so many can be a problem. Yet, they all manage to find their place and make a home for themselves. Yes. It is amazing and a wonder.
I continued my gaze up at this natural phenomenon until they were well beyond my view, though I could still hear their distinctive “honk honk” for a bit longer. Oddly, I was left with a saddened feeling. I’m not sure why, but as they ventured south, I felt badly. ‘What will become of them?’ I thought to myself. Strange, I admit, but nature often times leaves us asking questions as to how and why things happen as they do. And with our questioning is born a number of emotional responses.
Nature provides us but a glimpse into the grandeur and glory of the Creator; the One who fashioned and molded all things. God put the “wheels in motion.” The universe came into being. Crawling, creeping, flying and swimming creatures took to the land, the sky and the seas. Humankind was fashioned in the very image of the Creator. Breath was blown into our lungs. Our eyes slowly and with some effort were opened and a beautiful world awaited our discovery. And in our discoveries began the quest of questioning, of wondering, of pondering the mysteries of the Universe. Questioning leads to wisdom. Wisdom is rather lonely without the companionship of sharing and caring with others what we know and what we hold sacred.
And to think, all this reflecting was born of an early morning foray out into the darkness of predawn, in the company of a flock of geese. These geese did not know it, but they were sharing their “wisdom” with this one, solo being, who took in their wonder and was left in awe.
My friends, I encourage us all to take a little time and take in the last of autumn’s majesty and wonder. Pick up one of those deep, red leaves and trace its lines and curves. Pick up some pine cones, take them home and ‘bake them’ in low heat for about thirty minutes. Let them cool down, place in a wooden bowl, admire their simple beauty and let them remind us of whence they came. Come winter, be sure to engage in the beauty of all that snow and wind and remember, it’s all for us, to savor, to ponder and to find joy in it all.