New Beginnings

by Jan Brooks



Autumn is my favorite season, if I may be so bold as to say there is truly a favorite season. As far as changing seasons goes, it seems autumn and spring are times for new beginnings. As the worst fire season in fifty years was recently scorching our landscape a friend from Mesa Verde observed that fires are not to be viewed as a terrible tragedy, but as nature's way of cleansing our wild lands. Even as the ashes are settling and the dust clearing, new sprouts poke up from the fires' aftermath, a burst of green in the charred forests.

Recently, I returned from cool, green, misty Canada, and drove into another world of smoke and fire and dry lands. The sight of a large wild land fire in Idaho was quite a shock after experiencing several days of rain in the Northwest. Contrasts such as hot and cold, dry and wet, and darkness and light mold our duality universe as much as they affect our spirits. Continual seasons, too, offer dual extremes of joy and sadness. Everything seems to be relative as one individual may experience wealth but perhaps, not love or knowing the true feeling of joy.

Today, on this fine autumn day, I took a hike with my old lab Sage in the canyon country near my Colorado home. For a while, I experienced the inner canyons of tall, red-rock monoliths and golden, Cottonwood trees by myself -- I was alone, but not really alone realizing we mortal humans are all interdependent upon nature's spirit and our own voices. There was a strong feeling of walking on the edge and knowing I was walking in a wilderness environment. I need to know for my own survival of the soul, there may be an elusive mountain lion or large bear watching me and wondering how unpredictable we humans can seem just as the seasons transcend to a different, unknown element. We too, need the transition of hot and cold, drought and rain to nourish our spirits, for without contrasts and uncertainty we cannot truly feel alive and awakened.



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