Every morning, rain or shine, I go walking. It’s a good time to reflect and have the glory of a rising sun start my day. One morning, as I strolled across the empty parking lot on my way to the trails, a large flock of Canada geese flew over head. Their unique honking interrupted the usual morning chirping and I got goose bumps (I swear I didn’t intend for that to be punny). The sound caused me to stop and I realized that I was alone with the season.
Standing in the middle of the parking lot, it smelled like fall; the smell of cold and of decomposing leaves. The bitter taste of black tea still in my mouth and my breath was visible in the air. My ears tingled with the chilly breeze. Those moments are my favorite moments of the whole year. The light was even different. The sun was coming up through the changing leaves and everything appeared yellow. This light was unbelievable and gorgeous. It’s unclear to me if it was the sound of the geese, the cold temperature, the rich smell and the changing light, but I felt like this morning was all mine. It belonged to me.
I don’t know why a sense of ownership was adopted. I certainly can’t be the only one who claims possession when no one else is around to dispute the claim. (For example, what about the change in the couch? Certainly no one stands up and says “who lost 18 cents in the couch?” before putting it in your pocket.) And what I realized is that if I actually owned something in nature then I have a responsibility to it. (Just like I have the responsibility to put the 18 cents toward my next pack of gum) The more I thought about it, the more I felt that it’s time for everyone to take responsibility of their moments and connections in nature. So get outside, and take pleasure in these last, lovely days of fall. It’s too short of a season. Listen to folk music. Make hot cocoa. Zip up your jackets. Enjoy!