Autumn Trail

There’s a trail near my home that I call Autumn Trail. Every year when the intensity of fall colors peaks, I head down that trail to immerse myself in beauty unsurpassed. It is an annual ritual and something I must do alone. Taking it on my bicycle is too fast. This trail and season require me to take it by foot, to saunter, to let the experience paint my spirit alive with color and wonder and gratitude.

First, I drink in the splashes of reds, wines and oranges as maple and cherry trees greet me. They are made all the more amazing in contrast to the evergreens mixed among them. Then, I pause in awe of the paper birches arching overhead—some of their brilliant yellow leaves dotting the trail where now the sunlight plays in changing patterns on the forest floor. As I move down the trail, I leave the forest behind for the sunny opening of a marsh vista painted with russet reeds and purple ironweed. Rusty old oaks stand strong along the edges under a cerulean sky that makes the whole scene “pop.”

The world seems to hang there suspended in time.

Squinting in the light, I imagine a magic thread holding it all together, this tapestry of perfection and balance. Every color that ever was seems to be here along the way. “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” is here on Autumn Trail.

Albert Einstein wrote that the most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. He went on to say, “It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.”

The kaleidoscope of this season is alive with timeless Earth rhythms and patterns. To stand alone immersed in this grandeur charges up my purpose and gives me added reason to continue committing myself to the goal of helping to save this planet. What else is there?