Summer Leaves Fall

I don`t remember the last time I experienced autumn this way. It`s different than the change of seasons than I have endured in previous years. Somehow I feel more ready. Somehow I feel safer. It doesn`t seem so cold and sudden this time.

When I stroll through the heavily treed streets in my neighborhood, I feel calm. The fallen yellowy, orange, and crimson leaves have covered the sidewalks so deep that I can`t keep from kicking them up with my feet.

I breathe in the slightly damp earthy air as the foliage is rustled gently by the slight breeze and hundreds of sun infused leaves flutter to the ground. Some of them whirl in circles playfully taking their time while others seem to glide straight down with purpose. I`m amused by each little almond shaped leaf and it`s chosen pace at which to reach the earth. They depart their birth tree and become one of the millions that crunch like cornflakes beneath me.

It feels so magical to walk under a canopy of trees letting their cover down all around you. It`s something special to share in an important journey of such freedom and change. I feel privileged when a random leaf settles on my head or rests on my shoulder before continuing on its path. It`s like an a little kiss from nature, unexpected and ephemeral.

In the early mornings when the children are already inside learning away, I wander through the empty school ground. Remnants of their playtime such as a stray ball or a forgotten jacket crumpled up near the jungle gym echo their carefree laughter. I hear distant chatter of excited kids from an open classroom window and I smile to myself remembering back to the woody scent of freshly sharpened pencils.

Though it is the beginning of October, the temperatures are soaring into the high twenties. Every sunrise and sunset this week, I have seen several hot air balloons floating through the sky. It is well known that unless conditions are perfect, those suckers don`t fly. This is what we call an Indian Summer here in Edmonton and I am so grateful for it.

I spent September preparing myself and bracing for this upcoming winter. I stocked up on warm fleeces, woolen toques, and have an entire cupboard jammed full of my favorite hot teas. I even installed a fireplace in my living room which along with keeping me toasty, acts as a strong visual of coziness.

So although I am prepared for the foreboding chill that I know is on its way, I feel a sense of tranquility in this moment. One last warm hug from summer before the winter cover quiets the streets. This pause between the transformation between life and death is powerful. And this time I feel it.

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