In this pocket of woods the path is narrow. It is rutted and rooted and it winds around like a fairytale, past the pampas grass with their avian plumes, through the slender birch trees, up a small hill where the spruce tree grows, and down again to the oak grove.

It is later than the clock says. The sun can not raise its head high enough to warm the lichen covered rocks.

This is almost beautiful. When I put together the colors, the brown and gray, the dry yellow and slight green, they are so muted they are nearly silent. The sweet smell of decay that we call autumn is all around. But it is not enough. It is not what I crave. Will it ever be enough? And is that why we drink and eat and sleep? To dull our senses? To talk ourselves into accepting near beauty?

Now, in the oak grove, the trees have stripped naked and, with their wild arms, are ready to embrace winter. And I, in my dusty black boots, stand upon their well tailored leaves, wishing I could surrender like that, in gratitude and thanksgiving, desiring nothing, giving everything.

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