I breathe deeply.
The air is crisper than a freshly picked apple, the leaves tumble around each other as they float delicately to the ground. There is a familiar sound of black walnuts colliding with the earth below as they plummet from above. Birds call to one another in the distance; I hear crows cackling to each other, and I am curious as to what their conversation entails. The breeze heightens, and a smattering of branches thwacking amongst themselves overwhelms my eardrums just for a moment. But suddenly it is calm once more, back to the gentle rustling of leaves and subtle chatter of beetles and crickets in the forest.
This is Autumn. The most beautiful season, overwhelming and teasing the senses. Life winds down for many species, knowing winter will soon be upon them. It is their time to sleep after seven laborious months of photosynthesizing, working to bear their fruits through the summer and early fall months. It’s beautiful to watch trees shed their leaves, exposing themselves to the elements to come. Taking a moment to step back, and consider the intimacy of their life cycle is humbling. These magnificent organisms spend their life reaching for the sun in order to reproduce, and each fall they shed their leaves to supply nutrients to the soil that they have removed throughout the year. It’s incredible how complete their cycle is, and it’s one of the wonders of nature. I wish more people would take the time to sit outside during this miraculous season and just breathe in the natural beauty of it all. The experience forces you to slow down and appreciate the world around you, calming you down. Problems seem to melt away, because in the grand scheme of things it is not as crucial as we once thought. This is a great opportunity to sit back, slow down, and reevaluate your life as it is. Forget about the bills, the job, the failing economy. None of that matters in this stretch of time. Think about your happiness, your health, your loved ones. And while captivated by the beauty in autumn, consider how devastating it would be to lose this. This oasis of serenity could be lost if we forget to embrace it and care for it. I strongly recommend taking 15 minutes out of every day to go off alone, settle down in nature away from the encroaching sounds of sirens and construction. Find a happy place for your mind to wander, experience and appreciate how small you are and how much smaller your problems must be. Just be thankful to experience everything that you have: appreciate viewing the leaves dance to the ground, hearing the crunch of leaves below footsteps. Just take a moment to get back to nature, and breathe.