The Many Peaks of Life

Peak leaf season is the most dangerous time of year for me to drive on the road. Forget snow – I either don’t drive at all or the freeze isn’t bad enough. But give me burnt orange hillsides, golden yellow oak branches, scarlet red maples flapping their buoyant leaf-hands towards the sky, and you can bet I’ll be all over the double yellow line.

Today might just be the true peak, that day we lust after all fall and then the next morning always feels a little bit like the day after Christmas. Nature takes her inevitable turn towards winter, which I love, though the browning of leaves away from their fluorescent brilliance does wear me down a little, too.

The wind plays a huge factor in this symbolic day, as well. We had moderate winds once last week, knocking pastures full of leaves off prematurely (if you will). Today has been clear, finally, but blustery as well. I had a moment walking into the wind today across the campus of the craft school that was utterly picturesque: Orange rain fluttering around my face and down to the ground, where already crisp layers of yellow and red, lime green, and brown lay in wait. It felt like walking underneath a rainbow.

And so it is, that I wear a spark of color in my eyes all day long. Not just because fall is truly falling. Not just because the sun is finally out again. Not just because I caught up with my homework and read over 100 pages before noon, today. But also because Parker pops into the coffeehouse for the second time this week, his cheeks dotted with pink from the cold, an ivory and sage green crocheted hat atop his head. His smile is wild yet gentle, and very playful. Guthrie and Quinn and Noelle are having a party tonight and Parker and I will be in full attendance.

It’s amazing, this capacity we have in ourselves for trust. The leaves rain down and yet, no one questions that they will bud again, that after fall comes winter, then spring and summer and yes again, our sweet fall. It’s a cycle but no single year is the same. I’m hoping that’s how I can approach this new interest. It’s part of what’s been laid out for me, part of what I’m creating for myself as I live in this world. But my time with Parker does not have to be just like other dates, other love interests, other men. This feels intrinsically different. Maybe I’ve finally exhausted some of my old games. I put forth so much for the people I meet in my life. Maybe it gives the impression that I’m impossible to damage, a thought which falseness I know all too well. I take a breath and hope for patience. Breathe again and hope for wisdom. Breathe my deepest breath yet and exhale into that wide, open space of trust.

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