I have been itching to get out and enjoy the autumn weather, but lately I have not been able to enjoy the nice sunny days. When I have had the time to spend outside it has been cloudy and raining, and this time was no exception. There was a break in the rain so I decided to do something I donít normally do, to sit outside on a cloudy day. I was amazed at the beauty of life going on, even without bright sunshine and a blue sky.
When I first sat down I could smell the fresh, temperate air and the damp soil. Everything seemed cleansed and refreshed. There was a puddle in the driveway with the view of nearby trees in its reflection. An earthworm crawled along heading for higher ground. Perhaps his burrow had been a bit flooded. Some gnats flew by, oblivious to my presence. A squirrel hopped across the yard looking for a snack. A rabbit scurried away.
And the birdsÖ.there were so many of them. A pair of doves flew into a tree in front of me. The rest of the birds I didnít see, but I could hear them. The chorus was varied and filled with the chick-a-dee-dee-dee of the chickadee, the cluck of the grackle, the caw-caw of the crow, the shrill call of the blue jay, and the sweet twitter of the songbirds. Between the pleasant aroma of the earth and autumn leaves and the sounds of the birds I was transported away from my cares, feeling total relaxation.
I stared ahead for a while at the trees lining the stone wall. The gray stones were dark from rain water, and a coating of light green lichen was growing on the north side of the stones. The tree trunks were also saturated and darker in color than usual, a stark contrast to the gold and orange maple leaves that rustled in the gentle breeze. I closed my eyes and just listened. The moving leaves sounded like rain.
When I opened my eyes I couldnít help but to gaze at the leaves waving in the wind as if in greeting. Occasionally one leaf would let go of the mother tree, its job of collecting sunshine to manufacture food for sustaining the tree now done. Each leaf would slowly float down to join the others below, landing with a soft whisper upon its siblings. It was almost like seeing big golden snowflakes falling.
The colors around me were very vibrant. In addition to the yellow orange leaves of the maples, I took in the sight of the yellow brown leaves of the dogwood, the brilliant pinkish red leaves of the fire bushes, and the still bright green leaves of the saplings and brush that had not yet felt the effects of frost. The pines were dark green, and the grass was a rich carpet laid out in front of the dark brown tree trunks and gray wall stones. The effect of so many lovely colors in harmony was tranquil and soothing.
I felt a connection with the plants and animals. The stress left my body and I was filled with calm and peace within. The sights and sounds comforted and uplifted. The air invigorated me. I felt good, really good. Nature always brings me back to my true self, the inner being inside of me that is happy to just be. My spirit was free as I found myself totally absorbed in the beauty of life that surrounded me.