An autumn walk

Along the creek

The rain came early this morning, leaving space for a mild dry partly cloudy afternoon. After spending much of the day reading, we headed out for a walk. Our trees have left about half their leaves in our yard so far – or rather, half the trees have lost most of their leaves, and the other half are saving them for sometime less convenient in the winter. Neighbors have waist-high leaf piles bordering the road, or are holding out for one big rake.

Creek trail fall colors

Our house is between two brushy creeks on the west side of town, and a handful of powerline easements criss-cross on their way to the power substation to the east. As we walked along the unexplored loops and cul-de-sacs near but new to us, I eyed what I’d hoped to find: an access path towards one of the creeks without a house or private property no trespassing sign.

Quiet, only the most occasional glimpse of a roof or a sewer pipe crossing the creek, and wonderful woods smells and fall colors. A surprising splash of wild hidden within town, and a crisp but comfortable day for discovering it.

We eased back through a field along a powerline and back to the road, continuing our walk into dusk until our looping traipsing returned us home.

Creek trail fall colors

A walk in the woods

This semester is flying by! I cannot believe Trick-or-Treaters are out, and that it is only a month until Luke and I travel Down South for Thanksgiving with our parents. It’s all really exciting, but also a little overwhelming.

My first attempt at teaching has had a lot of ups and downs. I know this is a normal experience, but it’s not yet a comfortable one. I’m learning so much about how to prepare lectures, engage students with the material, choose reading assignments that provoke discussion, organize a class (and then reorganize it when it is not working), establish class policies and how/when to bend them. I still feel like I have a long way to go before I’m “seasoned,” and the fact that we’re already halfway through the semester is simultaneously a relief and strong motivation for ending the year on a good note.

With all of these thoughts weighing on my mind, Luke took me on a beautiful hike this morning in Fairmont Park. We meandered along the trails, climbing over logs, bouncing off of rocks, sliding on the leaves covering the ground, and breathing in the amazing smells of Fall. It was just the break I needed – a perfect mix of physical exertion, quiet calm, and clearing my head by talking and talking to my patient husband.

Last night, we danced and danced to Brown Bird and Yonder Mountain String Band at a venue just down the street from us. Taking time out of our normal routine to dance and to talk, to play outdoors and to hold hands…this weekend has reminded me how important it is to relax and to breathe before gearing up for whatever is next.

Brown Bird

Yonder Mountain String Band