It’s everywhere! TV, radio, newspapers, conversations in public places. It’s like the atmosphere after 9-11; shock, fear, anger.
I drove north on 93 in the brilliant sunlight with a clear blue sky. A wonderful feature of the highway is the wide-open space. I wanted to see the foliage before it’s gone but I had made no arrangements to go to a specific destination or hike. I just left the house and headed north to the white mountains.
Not surprisingly the further north I got, the more color the trees displayed. I knew I had made the right decision, even if I don’t DO anything today, I’ll have taken the day to witness one of New England’s glorious autumns.
After making a stop in Lincoln for a ‘break’ and a coffee I decided I’d stop at the flume and take the dogs for a walk along the ‘bike path’. I knew I wouldn’t be able to see vistas of color but I’d be walking underneath a vibrant canopy and getting some exercise. Shortly after you get on the path there is a ‘detour’ to take a trail to Mt. Pemigewasette and I noted with a pleasant surprise it was only 1.5 miles to the peak. Since it was only 11:40 a.m. I knew that, even if I am out of shape and huff-puff up the trail, I’d have plenty of daylight to make it up and back. So there I went.
I plugged in my ear-bud, just one, and listened to a sleepy little audio book. I could listen to the reader, not story – because it isn’t really a story it’s more of a circuitous, non-stop character development, just go on and on about these characters in the book. It was enough of a ‘distraction’ to keep my mind focused on it but not so involved that I would begin to ‘feel’ any emotions (like one does when involved with a very good story: excitement, anticipation, disbelief) as I plodded along,..up…up…up.
The two ‘kids’ and I finally reached the peak, a granite overlook with a 180 degree view of the quilted mountainsides. The wind was blowing but I had worked up a sweat so it felt refreshing. The three of us stood there gazing over the cliff and soon a lone man and his tiny dog appeared. We chatted a bit, chuckled at the dogs meeting each other and spoke of the opportunity we both decided to take this day to head to the mountains. We both agreed, even with a good camera, you just can’t capture the beauty of the foliage in the same breath-taking way you see it with your own eyes. Eventually he sat with his smart phone and I put on my hoodie and lied back on the slightly warmer granite rock, closed my eyes, listened to the wind blow and let the sun do it’s job on me. I smiled.
Not long after I had two cold, wet noses poking me in the face and neck, snuffling and snorting. I guess they were bored. We headed back down; they played games with each other in their excitement and I was half plugged back in, watching every step down I took (leaves are slippery).
We reached the car and we all drank some water and headed home. I felt positively grateful. I spent my south-bound time leaning toward the steering wheel with my head swiveling back and forth just trying to absorb all the blazing color before my trip was done.
I felt quiet and reflective (subdued?) and let nature’s energy carry me toward more positivity than I’d been feeling in a long while. It was the best medicine for the toxic illness I was starting to feel.