This year, I made the assumption, based on 57 years of experience, that the leaves would change colors some time in mid October and then fall off the trees. They would blow around a bit, crunch around and smell wonderful until we all got out and raked, mulched, vacuumed, and bagged them up and dragged them to the curb for removal for another year. I had never seen a year where it got so cold in early October. It got cold, it snowed, the snow clung to the leaves and froze them solid. Most of the leaves just fell off the trees like frozen bombs on Friday morning - without ever changing colors. They are now laying in damp heaps on the ground in various shades of dark green, brown, and black. No brilliant yellows and oranges. No fragrance of fallen leaves.
Autumn is my favorite time of the year. To see the color of my bedroom change because of the reflected light of the glowing yellow tree in my front yard is something I just love for the week or so that it lasts. This year I will not get to experience that. In the scheme of things, it is certainly not a big deal. But I think it is worthy of reflection.
This morning I went to a meeting and saw a man celebrate his one year anniversary. I was glad to be there. I wonder if he was glad I was there. He was carrying on about how he wants so much more than "just being sober." And I thought about another man I wrote about here some four years ago. He was sober about 90 days and wanted a lot more than "just not drinking." I haven't checked on his condition since last week, but as of last week, he was in the hospital, at death's door after a long bout of drinking. I wonder how he would feel about "just not drinking" today. Maybe that would be a good start.
We can't get our eyes fixed so far out on the horizon that we can't see the next step in front of us, or we may never get to the horizon.
Or it may be that we are never intended to get to the horizon anyway. Maybe our best shot is to enjoy the wet piles of brown leaves on the ground today because we are never intended to see the golden ones next year.
I think I shall give what's left of today my very best. And I hope you do too.