Ode To A Season

The crackling sound of fallen leaves under foot seems deafening, each step threatening to give away my position. The moisture in my breath crystallizes as it leaves my mouth, just another reminder that the warmth of summer is quickly retreating along with the hours of sunlight. The quaking golden aspen leaves dance joyously in the slight yet constant mountain breeze, their last performance, their grand finale on display for whoever is willing to stop and appreciate the awe of it. So far, no sign of grouse, and as the time passes, the thought of homemade cider and an ambient fire back at the cabin seems all the more enticing, even if it means no supper. The tranquility of the mountains lulls me into a state of contentment. I find it practically immoral to resist the feeling of oneness with my surroundings. The hunter orange cap on my head and the 12 gauge in my hands almost an offense to the calm that has overtaken me. Though my intentions are true, I begin to realize how arrogant I am for expecting to bag my dinner. As I begin my lengthy hike back to the cabin on this autumnal equinox, empty-handed and hungry, I stop at a breathtaking vista over looking Sylvan Lake. The utterance, “Please and thank you” escapes my lips in a whisper and travels outwardly. The aspen leaves bow and tremble in response. And though there are many miles to go before my journey is over, I know that I am home.