I was at my parents' place today checking on things. I wandered into the back yard, camera in hand to see the changes autumn had delivered. In summer the back yard, rich with vegetation, is a little piece of gardening paradise crammed with vegetables, fruit trees, roses, ivy, peonies, irises, grape vines, a pond and a gazebo.
Today it looked quite different. The cedar shrubs were bound in burlap, the trees were stripped of leaves, and the gardens were turned with heaps of compost. What is usually a cornucopia of colour was now faded tones of beige, yellow and brown. A scattering of orange maple leaves broke the colourless monotony.
The gardens and trees had been tucked in, readied for a long winter's sleep. Soon, courtesy of Mother Nature, the dismal nakedness will be blanketed in glistening, virgin snow. And even more wondrous - will be the cycle of rebirth when tender green shoots push through to announce Spring.
It occurred to me that we also have these cycles in our lives ... times when the colour dims, happiness wanes and the energy seems to stall. I can recall periods when my life was stalled; they were short slices of time that I think were necessary. They allowed me to reflect and regroup and after a season of hibernation, I would emerge stronger, more focused and dare I say - vibrant.
The climb makes the view from the mountains that much more spectacular. So here's to a season of pause and reflection; the calm before the storm.