My first hike of 2013, up Mill B south fork, toward lake Blanche in Big Cottonwood canyon. It was quiet and meditative. Autumn comes early in the mountains. Everything comes early, and leaves too soon. The first signs of summer giving way to autumn are seen in the yellow and red leaves, red baneberries around aspen groves, and shriveled up wildflowers. The autumn reminds me that things don't last forever, and that it's time to prepare for the coming winter. The earth takes back what it so generously gave, and we will have to again be patient-- ever patient. There is that warning in the bright colors, but also a celebration. The year was full, and the red, yellow, and orange leaves dance and fly in the air with gratitude.
...the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. -Job 1:21
I will miss the west with its sage flats and lonely mountains. I was a visitor here, with a visitors key. These moments are not lost to me.