Wednesday, October 21, 2009

On Foliage and Fear

It's been a cold October here in New England. Last week we had snow (in Boston!), early indeed. We made our annual sojourn to Killington for Columbus Day weekend, for the big ski sale that the Ski Club puts on, and for Isabella to join the Hopefuls Hike, up to Killington Peak. The last time I did that group hike I was 10. Deja vu - my coach that first year lead our group up this year.

Isabella has hiked peak-down several times, the last being Columbus Day '08 - Bridger was 4 weeks old. It was a beautiful mild day. Here's a pic:

This year was cold - forecast was 45 and sunny - not so much. It snowed (squeeeee!) as we hiked past the Glades. Isabella looked up at the sky and declared 'I'm so proud of you sky, for making it snow!' Pure now. In my head I was bursting, so proud that she hiked up to the peak, in really good time and with such heart.

Here we are, by East Glade on Great Northern. Bridger was having a mid-hike snack...

I love fall foliage. It's part of why I love living in New England so much. Something within me rotates with the turn of the seasons. It's like some kind of metronome in my soul. However, as the leaves begin to turn, there is always the mummur that begins, 'here comes winter', 'I hate the snow', 'I'm dreading the cold'. Honestly people, if you hate winter that much, Florida is a quick plane ride away... This fear of winter makes people unaware of the glory around them, the beauty of a changing palate...

But really, there is no such thing as fear. Fear is the absence, the lack of being in the moment. Think about it, when presented with a perilous situation, we jump into action, we react. The feeling of fear appears when we either look ahead to what might happen, or peer into the past at what might happen again. We miss the moment at hand. So rather than look at the changing leaves with dread (or joy) at the winter ahead, take a moment, feel the breath on your nostrils, and be aware of this moment, and the beauty around you.