A walk in the woods with Mom. Fall air. The wind sounds like a rushing waterfall once the branches empty. It's power bending mighty oaks, and humming its way through the ridge top. Where leaves still cling, the gentler breezes sound like a chattering mountain stream, cascading through its stony course.
Yesterday, my mother and I took a walk through the forest. This is the week most leaves have chosen to loosen their grip, and submit to flight and then rest. We pause, my octogenarian hiking partner having just climbed more than a hundred feet in the last quarter mile; there is no audible breathing as she navigates tall root stair-steps up the last stretch. We pause, the wind holds its breath. We scan the deep valley we've exited, turning past the ridge top to see the one lying behind us as well--and before us in this journey.
We smile. Few words. And the leaves are gliding to the earth from high above. Multicolored reminders of fearless, beautiful surrender. We whisper of the coming snows, the inevitable surrender of this season to the next. And we hike on.
Life moves on, full of greening and falling. And I will forever treasure the living I have witnessed in my mother. Very little waterfall bluster, or mountain stream chatter. Exemplary greening and giving and sheltering. And as life has demanded, willing surrender in her selfless beauty. Always giving.
Thank you Mom.