Embracing Autumn

Strangely enough, when I was a little girl, I didn’t like autumn.  I found it to be a sad time.  It bothered me that the flowers in my mom’s garden died and that my dad’s vegetable garden and orchard failed to produce the vegetables and fruits I so enjoyed all summer long.  The Indiana days quickly grew shorter and chillier and I could no longer go and play outside after school.  My life would be lived within interior walls and heated rooms for six long months until the return of spring.

Streaked autumn leaf

Streaked autumn leaf

Somehow, as a child, I failed to notice the explosion of gorgeous colors autumn brought to the Midwest.  Today, I love this season.  Summer still remains my favorite season, but autumn has an exquisite fleetingness to it, a metaphor for life.  I am still waiting for a sunny day to go out with my camera to capture the red and golden leaves of the maples that line Green Lake, but for now I have some other late October photos to share.

The forest leaves give way to autumn

The forest leaves give way to autumn

On Saturday, Leslie and I went on a hike to Wallace Falls.  We love this hike and have done it several times.  This time, we had Winnie with us. She is a complete delight and the entire experience of hiking is enhanced by her presence.  It was pouring as we neared the trailhead so we stopped for a cup of coffee, waiting out the worst of the rain.  At some point, we realized the rain might let up or it might not, that we could go forward with our plans or we could go back home.  We went on the hike!

This girl knows where we are going!

This girl knows where we are going!

anticipation!

Anticipation!

Living in Northwest Washington has trained us to be ready for rain and, really, the hike was so very pleasant.  The rain did let up and some blue sky opened up above.  We stepped over falling leaves, enjoyed the rushing sound of the falls, the rushing river and the great boulders gracing the landscape.  We felt alive and healthy.  The forest seemed denser than usual, the moss greener, the fragrance of pine sharper than ever.  I felt inspired to breathe more deeply because the air smelled so good.  I noticed Winnie smelling the earth along the path.  When the rain let up and a peep of sun came through, we noticed the drops of water had become sparkling gems covering the trees.

a few patches of blue

a few patches of blue

The forest at Wallace Falls

The forest at Wallace Falls

The rain lets up and the river flows fast

The rain lets up and the river flows fast

Crossing a bridge

Crossing a bridge

Can we do that hike again?

Can we do that hike again?

On Sunday, I taught the semi-annual Issaquah Day Hatha Yoga Retreat at Crystal Creek.  I offer these day retreats in May and October every year. The day consists of a lovely morning drive to  Issaquah,Washington, a morning of yoga followed by a much anticipated delicious lunch, a hike or time to read, sit quietly, or be social, and is topped off with restorative and yin yoga.  It’s a perfect way to embrace this time of year.  The retreat participants go home feeling healthy, relaxed, and happy.  I began these semi-annual day retreats Autumn 2010 and since the beginning, I have offered NINE of them!  The group who comes on Sunday have come to all NINE!  The next Issaquah Day Hatha Yoga Retreat will be offered on May 2 and 3, 2015.  May 3rd is already filled, but it’s not too early to sign up for Saturday, May 2nd (leave a comment below and I will get back to you).

Cathy's house is always decorated so beautifully.

Cathy’s house is always decorated so beautifully.

Handstand....

Handstand….

or Mountain?

or Mountain?

Lunch time

Lunch time

Oh, so good!

Oh, so good!

Cairn on the trail

Cairn on the trail

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