Yesterday David and I took the pack up into one of our favorite meadows, a gentle hike with one great hill that rewards you with a glorious view of the Monadnocks. In late summer this meadow shimmers in a sea of goldenrod flowing down to the horizon, meeting the sky, and creating an exquisite frame for the mountains. As you work your way up, you are immersed in the wildflowers that herald the coming brocades of fall foliage that will be woven with plants passing by. The air was crisp and cool, a wonderful breeze caressing us from the west. After days of intense humidity and heat it was like falling into your favorite lake for an invigorating swim. Hawks rode the westerly thermals, practicing for their October migration. Monarchs and dragonflies visited each blossom, flitting about without concern for the shortening days and chilly nights ahead. Some color brushed random treetops already, but the wild grapes are still unripened green and the days still get very warm towards noon.
I have always loved the time from August to first snowfall. I have always been passionately in love with autumn, something about its grand flourish before the short, dark days of winter is intensely poignant to me. As a child, August was when we took our family vacation to a lake in the Belknaps and that place ignited a deep and slow-burning magic in me that lives to this day. It was where I could see my true self reflected in the clear lake water, images I would hold onto fiercely the rest of the year. There is something about this season, with all its nuances and foretelling, that is captivating. August signals the waning that quietly follows the waxing of spring into summer.
Yesterday was particularly touching to me, as I hiked through chest-high goldenrod and asters, I remembered that this meadow was one of the last places I would hike with Casey before she became too ill to venture out with us. She loved it here, leading the way as always. I felt her with us yesterday, watching little Lifa navigate tangles of wildflowers and charge joyously down the overgrown path. Life is a spiral, curving around but never touching the same spot again. There have been so many tectonic shifts this past year, I curve around to a spot that is familiar but forever changed. We are once again wading through fields of gold, with a new pack member…also with a new purpose and direction in life overall.
As with the meadow around us, some things in my life have passed already, some are dying and some will overwinter to emerge in the spring. My focus shifts (comes full circle in fact) back to a creative life, one I had to make somewhat dormant to go out into the world and do things that I needed to do. Now, I have seen those things through, and my reward is being able to “come home” to the life I always wanted in the first place. As a result, NorthSAR will shift and become something new, incorporating this creativity into a new kind of service, one that will also honor Casey’s memory as it supports new endeavors. This blog will expand in scope, this website re-branded with new offerings. I’m catching a thermal in a sense, and letting it carry me to where I need to be.
So keep an eye out, as the light changes, the leaves turn, the nights grow chilly, the constellations shift to map a winter sky…the journey is far from over, but we are off the edge of the map now…