Last week was a terrible week. One in which we had to say goodbye to 2 friends - a husband and wife whose lives ended in tragedy. Sadness and disbelief have been sitting heavily on our shoulders. Normally, fall is my favorite season, but this year, the vivid colors of the leaves are tinged with sadness.
But yesterday, we decided to spend some time in the woods. We needed to get away from our thoughts for a while. So we headed to my father-in-laws farm.
The leaves aren't nearly as pretty this year as in other years. Maybe it was the weather. We had an extremely wet spring, followed by a very hot summer, and now we're in the midst of too much rain again.
The colored leaves are coming in stages. Some turn, then the rains and winds knock them down before the next ones turn. As a result, we aren't getting the full blast of color.
But the beauty is still there - we just have to look a little harder for it.
I've always felt a deep connection to the woods. Sitting in the midst of the woodlands is where I find my refuge. When I was young, many a moment of teenage angst dissolved in the woods that my parents owned. The first place I would take a new friend was the waterfall that we lovingly called Grandpa's Falls, in memory of my grandfather who had owned the land before my dad did.
Just walking through the woods you see the big things - but when you sit for awhile, you start seeing the smaller treasures.
I know people who are afraid of the woods, but frankly, I just don't understand that. They are so full of peace. I can't walk in them without feeling God's presence.
Other than my families voices, my favorite sound in the world is walking through the fallen leaves. We spent part of the afternoon splitting firewood, but first, I took the camera and walked through the leaves. George smiled and said, "are you here to work or walk in the woods?" I said, "there's crunchy leaves"! And he smiled again, knowing that I was in my haven. And when we were done splitting firewood, he said, "let's go for a walk".
I told him once that if I my mind goes when I'm older, just bring me the fallen leaves of autumn, let me crunch them in my hand, and smell their fragrance. That very well may be the last thing that would reach me.
Ahhhhhh..........Autumn. Thank you God, for giving us autumn.