Monday, October 13, 2008

The Perfect Gift

Mother Nature it seems is apologizing for all the nasty rain, tornadoes and hurricanes she has thrown at us this riding season. Just at the peak of fall foliage season, during a holiday weekend no less, she has graced us with sun dappled days of mild temperatures and brilliant shades of gold and crimsons against cumulus cloud studded azure skies.

It is against this backdrop that Jade and I find ourselves on a journey through New Hampshire and Vermont with the New England Riders. In the crisp early morning air, as we travel to the start point, the rising sun and tree tops meet in a spectacular display of dazzling color against the shadowed earth not yet touched by the early morning light. As the golden orb continues it assent into the ever changing shades of blue the warming breath of autumn air against my cheek chases the chill away.

Our route takes us through New England towns, seemingly untouched by the passage of time, with village greens, central meeting halls and churches standing sentinel as they have, some for 200 years. The colonial architecture looms before me, sometimes unexpectedly, and I am made aware of my heritage. The structures beckon and stir long forgotten memories of my forefathers, and the people who once called this place home.

We stop at Mount Sunapee and take advantage of the chair lift to the summit. We are not disappointed, as Mother Nature has swept the air clean of the mess we can make of it to open up before us a panoramic majesty. As I look below me, I see the blue of the sky mirrored in the lakes and ponds below, and the colors of the foliage made twice as brilliant reflected in the calm of the water’s surface.

At our stops I pause to give homage to the hardy blossoms that pay tribute to the season. Their petals held high, they stand as proud sentinels in testament to autumn’s delights. The fallen leaves, crunching beneath my boots send up the aroma that is so indicative of the season. Early childhood memories of leaping into raked up piles of leaves, turn up the corners of my mouth as I remember youth. It is then that I remember how in youth I lived in each moment. There is no regret of the past or worry for the future when you are laying in a pile of leaves looking up partly naked tree branches. On a day such as this, the lesson is simple. Live the moment. It is the perfect gift.

Fall Foliage Ride 2008

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