Sunday, September 30, 2018

The Power of Nature

View from the porch at the AMC Gorham Chairback Lodge.
On the final feet of an extraordinarily challenging hike, the sun was low on the horizon in the final mile back to camp.  Physically out of shape, the earlier miles of the trail entailed a punishing stretch over and around root bound rocks. I was perpetually at the rear, not able to catch up with my new found hiking buddies. My lungs were laboring under exertion and asthma. My pants were sweaty and tight around my waist. I was feeling very old, far away from the lithe and more nimble self of past years and with head down to a tenuous balance of what was just before me and my capacity to continue.

We arose out of the small creek valley, out to the opening where the trail crossed the road in the final stretch home.  At that moment, the waning sunlight beamed through the still green leaves. Vibrant, effervescent, glowing, verdant, rich and hopeful. Despite being the last of the group and slightly overdue on the timeline, I had to take a minute to breathe in the wisdom, glory, and preciousness of this fleeting moment. Summer was ending and the transition of the early fall was underway. I was surrounded by reveling in life.

Storm clouds brewing over Brunswick, Photo BDN/ Jennifer Hicks 
Dramatic weather has its own emotional reaction. The anticipation heralded in dark, black incoming storm clouds led to a hastening fear, and then the sudden flailing of branches as they whipped across the yard. On that day in September and after only 10 minutes, the house across the street had two large trees come down on its roof. I came out of the house and gathered with the other stay-at-home moms and grandmoms, and then we watched together as the tree service came to do the clean-up.

September ended in a flurry of work deadlines, travel to a tiny house festival, and stretched into the first week of October with a move to a new place and capped with a preparation-intensive, age-appropriate medical test.  Now, I am breathing again. My own recovery and clean-up have begun. 

Hours later, clean up in the hood. 

In these rapidly dwindling days of early Autumn, the leaves have begun their changes to the vibrant red, orange and gold. My head is up, now looking to the horizon.  

Fall colors in the garden. 
View from the new house.

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