Changing Seasons – Grace and Gratitude

I’m always drawn to the colors of nature. Wildflowers are amazingly beautiful to me. Amazing because they are vivid. Beautiful because the palette blends so effortlessly to become the landscape. These are from end of August at Big Rock outside Chicago and Highland Ridge. I threw in a beautiful sunset from Burr Oak Winery in New Lisbon, WI where I stayed a night.

As the seasons change, the colors change from vivid summer to autumn golds, reds, and browns. When I returned to Wisconsin and Highland Ridge, the beautiful wildflowers I had photographed this summer had faded and withered. But in other spots, they had been replaced by striking golden topped stalks of green. And I learned that the strange cone shaped seed pods are actually Sumac berries. Their bushy leaves are starting to turn orange now. And then I spotted a random grape vine with luscious fruit!

And of course, here in the north, the maple leaves are starting to turn gold and red. Just a few are falling, but soon, the forrest will look like fire as all the trees catch up. In this middling season of not quite summer and not yet fall, I see mushrooms too. The red ones are especially pretty, whatever variety they are. And of course it’s time for campfires. I don’t understand how people can have campfires in summer when it’s so warm. This is my first – EVER! You know I’m not a camper, I’m a glamper, lol.

The changing of the seasons remind me that nature is magnificent and surely worth protecting. I meditate on grace and gratitude because those are part of nature as well and part of me. I am one with nature. I like the symmetry of that. Being part of the larger universe is something I frequently take for granted. Meditating on being grateful and living in a state of grace brings me back to my roots – I’m stardust and I’m nature. We all are. I’m not special. Every one of us can pause, if only for a brief moment and drink that in. Recharges me every time.

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