Leaves of a Thousand Colors (photo taken in Ukiah, CA)
Living in San Diego, we don't get a lot of color changes in the city. We usually have palm-tree-green and drought-brown. However, once you leave the smog and traffic and enter into the mountain areas, that all changes. Freeway noises are softened into whispering leaves of a thousand colors, rustled by cool breezes. The sounds of slamming doors and ear-piercing smoke detectors are replaced by the hum of local animal life, with excited chirps and scampering, furry chipmunk feet. The heavy stink of diesel and full garbage dumpsters are immediately forgotten with the first inhalation of smoke from fireplaces and apple pie fresh out of the oven.
I shiver with anticipation.
I love reaching skyward, plucking a glowing orange leaf from its stem, and holding the cool, downy side to my cheek. Running my hands over pumpkins and gourds, enjoying their unique textures and shapes. The feeling of a soft scarf wrapped around my neck, and gloves warmed from sitting on the car dashboard. The first sip of hot apple cider under a full moon, and the laughter about the smidge of whipped cream on the tip of my nose.
The explosion of color as squealing, giggling children pounce onto gigantic piles of gathered leaves.
Taken outside the Parducci Winery in Ukiah, CA
Autumn is a gift. The first day of this season is my "New Year". I am attuned with our Earth on an entirely new level during this season. While we have such joys as Pumpkin Ale, hot cocoa with pounds of marshmallows, pumpkin pie Pop-Tarts (amazing, you need to try these), and all that is cinnamon and nutmeg, this season offers reflection and beauty.
Look up from the keyboards and cellphones and DayPlanners. Do you see that? Can you feel that? No matter what your faith, religion, or spirituality, have you ever felt so loved by something higher than yourself?