It has been four days since I last took this hour long drive, from our sea-level suburb to our cottage on the mountain lake. As I drive up the slow and winding incline, I notice the subtle difference.
The greens are not as deep and dark. There has been a slight lightening. A fading. A movement towards yellow. There are some subtle slices of orange here and there. Some small splashes of red.
It’s happening again.
I have always found autumn in New Jersey to be beautiful, but bittersweet. If I’m lucky, the change will come slowly, and the multicolored leaves will linger through November. If not, an early cold snap or a late season hurricane will, all too soon, strip the color from the leaves, or the leaves from their branches.
But today, the palette still has the potential to burst forth, boldly, brightly.
With all of the craziness in the world this year; the utter confusion, the deep sadness, the unrelenting anger, the hefty grief, the anxious uncertainty; there is a calm comfort in the slow and steady changing of the leaves.
There is serenity in the scenery, in this faithful phenomenon; the reliability of the earth’s rotation, the consistency of change.
It’s happening again. I’m so glad it’s happening again.