September 21, 2008
Along a mountain lake
Saturday morning was cool and sunny, the kind of fall day that's too good to waste, even if you're recovering from a bad cold. The older boys were off at an Ultimate Frisbee Tournament, and With-a-Why was at my parents' house. Just after breakfast, my husband and I drove to the mountains, north to where autumn had already begun.
Yes, the leaves, as we reached the higher altitudes, were already edged with gold and yellow and red. We didn't take a strenuous hikes, since I was still coughing and sneezing, but instead walked the trail around Bryophyte Lake. Halfway around the lake, a wooden bridge crosses a creek that goes into the lake. We both took off our shoes and socks to dangle our feet into the cold water. Then we stretched out on the wooden slats to spend the morning talking lazily. The sun was warm enough that I could take my fleece off and use it as a pillow.
An older couple came paddling up on kayaks and stopped to chat for a few minutes. Later, three women — obviously friends — came down the trail and over the bridge, chattering busily. But otherwise, our only company were birds and chipmunks, the wind that kept making ripples on the lake and two dragonflies that kept landing right on my shirt.
My mother always says that the hot sun can bake a cold right out of you; I could feel the heat working on my head and chest. I felt much better as we hiked out of the woods. I could actually smell for the first time all week: pine needles and dead leaves and mud. We took other lazy walks — some on trails we'd never been on before — and spent an evening in front of a cozy fire. As we returned home today, I couldn't help but think that the leaves on the trees were changing even as I watched. We passed farm stands selling pumpkins and summer places were closed for the season. Fall has begun.
Posted by jo(e)