Ah, September. I think I have decided that it is my favorite. (Of course, this may or may not have to do with the fact that I was born in September.) There is so much beauty. The green aspen leaves begin to turn to gold. The air turns crisp and cool in the evenings, so much so, that we can take the box fans out of the open windows and sleep under quilts again. It is the time of year when it is perfectly acceptable, yes, even expected, to enjoy everything "pumpkin".
A friend asked me last month if I had any "epic plans" for my birthday. This amused me. I told him that if taking a day off from housework, going out for dinner, and going on a hike were considered "epic", then, yes, I had epic plans. Well, those kinds of plans are perfectly satisfying and epic to me.
Two miles uphill to a wonderfully rustic historical landmark, Mad Barn. Despite the climb, a scraped knee, and the hot Steamboat sun, we had a wonderful time being together and enjoying the views of Mad Creek and the changing landscape, exploring the old barn, and spotting cows grazing along the trail. I could hardly contain my excitement. Why do I love cows so? I never grew up with or around them.
I look at these pictures now in the middle of October and cannot believe how quickly things change this time of year. There is still so much green in these September pictures. I find myself looking out the window watching the winds blow through the aspens, gold leaves falling to the ground below like confetti. "Please stay. Please keep your colors. Don't go yet," I beg them. Thankfully, they have this year, more so than last. We have not had the early snows of last year to shorten the season. Most of this year's greens have now faded into golds and oranges and rusts and browns. I can't decide which I like more. There is something so alive in the greens, but something so peaceful and restful in the browns.
As we hiked the two miles up and then back down from the barn, I noticed beautiful crevices in the rock formations we passed. Some were large enough to stand in, some small enough to provide shelter. Some out on the open trail, some hidden away. I thought about all the events of last year. Times when I felt as if my very soul was on fire, like the fiery gold of the Aspen leaves when the sunlight hits them just so. But I was never alone.
He hideth my soul in the cleft of the rock/ That shadows a dry thirsty land/ He hideth my life in the depths of His love/ And covers me there with His hand.