Wednesday, November 16, 2011

I sometimes wonder how I can feel so crappy in a season that holds such beauty. Everywhere I look, even here on the west coast, trees are doing their fall thing. Right now, looking out the window, among the majority of evergreens and trees that have yet to begin to turn, is this one tree, that is blazing the most incredible orange in the morning sun. It's the same tree in this photo, that I took as the sun was setting last night; how different it looks at different times of day and sunlight.

Last fall I was still in Sonora, deeply depressed, but still holding to the dream of a life there, in the almost mountains, in my own home with my own garden. Walking Jasper every morning, agape at all the different oranges and reds and yellows splashed among the pines and firs; the persimmon winning hands-down as the most beautiful orange I had ever seen; nearly tripping over my dog because I could not get enough as we walked by. I remember riding the train between Albany, NY and Boston with my husband a few years ago. Our first trip to the east for fall color and we mostly missed it, it coming late that year, except our last weekend, when it erupted. Rolling through the backwoods, my eyes glued to the window, not wanting to so much as blink for missing even a split second of it. And truly, I had not known, until that moment the unbelievable spectrum of color possible.

Today is Day 55 of my 365Grateful Project. It's one of the most depressed weeks I've had in a long while, and some days it's been hard to find one thing that I truly feel grateful for. I don't mean that in my mind I can find gratitude for because those are plentiful, I mean truly feel gratefulness. There's a difference, and for me, that difference is crucial. So I look to what it is that captures my attention. What it is that is able, even for a moment or two, to take me out of the darkness, and it is, without question, fall color.

And maybe that's the whole point, as we head into the season of darkness, where days are short and nights long, that time steeped in mystery and the unknown, of turning inward and holding up inside, earth gives us one last promise, a true spectacle, beauty so amazing, to fill our ragged hearts and tired souls. How is it that one tree can so capture my attention, so that for an instant all else is forgotten? I have no idea, but I will take it... and feel grateful for it.