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Autumn – A Reflection

October 12, 2022
Autumn sunset on the Gulf Coast

When you live on the Gulf Coast of Alabama and spend time on the Gulf Islands National Seashore, Autumn might not show up in a very prominent way. The beauty of this sunset is as amazing as it is different from autumnal experiences we had in the Rocky Mountains.

Back in the Rockies, the golden aspen leaves are wowing those who take the time to savor and enjoy them before the winds of winter begin. At this time of year, our friends the marmots and pikas are preparing for their winter nap.

Our pika friend in the National Park
Our marmot friend in Estes Park, Colorado

Today’s reading from A Year with Thomas Merton: Daily Meditations from His Journals reminded me of those Rocky Mountain Autumns. Evening. A turning point in the weather. The heavy rain clouds broke up a bit in the morning. There were patches of sun, a few short showers late in the afternoon. It is turning cold. I noticed that my woodchuck had buried himself completely, covering up the entrance to his hole, and had gone to sleep for the winter in his bed of leaves. I wish him a happy sleep! And today is very autumn-like—cold clouds flying, trees half bare, wet leaves lying around everywhere, the broad valley beautiful and lovely. The wonderful, mysterious, lonely sense of an autumn evening. October 20 and 23, 1965 Dancing in the Water of Life: Seeking Peace in the Hermitage (Journals, V: 1963–1965)

May autumn’s blessings be with you, dear reader, as the days grow shorter and the nights grow longer.

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