This morning I enjoyed a rare mid-week pleasure: a morning off! After dropping the boys at school, I changed into running clothes and headed out, but not before pausing to take in the crimson glory of a young maple tree in our front yard. Andrew and I planted this tree when our eldest son was born, and both have thrived.
We live about ten minutes drive from one of the region’s largest and most beautiful urban forests. Forest Park stretches over eight miles on hills overlooking a river that divides Portland into east and west neighborhoods.
The first two miles or so of the trail I climbed are mostly uphill. Hikers, dogs, mountain bikers, and runners are thick during the weekend, but today I had the trail nearly all to myself.
The woods are alive with color.
Large damp leaves scattered across the rocky and damp trail hid tiny rocks, presenting technical challenge from time to time. My ankle throbbed during the final mile of this 50 minute run. Still, I was energized by the quiet beauty that is autumn slipping into deeper autumn, knowing winter’s contemplative darkness approaches, and is closer to arrival every day that passes in November.
A small sign that I’d never noticed before is almost unreadable. It says: Return to the Source, and directs the reader to the trail. What lies ahead? I wondered upon beginning the slow and silent climb. I’ve run this way several times before, but always find something new to see and think about. Today I observed fallen limbs, warm and thick with moss, and leaves falling from towering forest homes, invoking the spirits of butterflies. Perhaps they were.
I welcome you, Fall. Here’s to the Season of Change.