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“There is music in the meadows, in the air —
Autumn is here;
Skies are gray, but hearts are mellow,
Leaves are crimson, brown, and yellow;
Pines are soughing, birches stir,
And the Gipsy trail is fresh beneath the fir.

There is rhythm in the woods, and in the fields,
Nature yields:
And the harvest voices crying,
Blend with Autumn zephyrs sighing;
Tone and color, frost and fire,
Wings the nocturne Nature plays upon her lyre.”
~ William Stanley Braithwaite, Lyric of Autumn

After a blustery, rainy All Hallows Eve, we central Ohioans awoke to such splendor and surprise when we tied curtains back and pulled up window shades to witness a glorious first day of November. What a sight!  Although my sleep was interrupted all through the night by three wee ones who had too much excitement the night before trick-or-treating in the pouring, cold rain, I decided to make the best of the magnificent morning before me. What better way to invigorate a tired, sleep-deprived body than with a lively walk outdoors?

On social media, I declared that I was “grateful for the brisk, sunny weather that beckoned me to go outside for an early exercise session and recite my morning prayers.” After taking the three kids to school, I felt compelled to an extra-long walk along the bike path surrounding the neighborhood in which I live. The trees were in their most glorious splendor glistening in the sunlight. (My one regret during that hour-long walk in solitude? Leaving my Nikon behind!)

Bundling up to meet November’s sky is something I never regret doing. Heading into nature to walk and pray simultaneously was the perfect way to get a handle on what would prove to be a rather hectic day as the hours progressed. In the spirit of gratitude and finding blessings all around me, I’m hoping for more days like these to spend outdoors and enjoy November’s chilly air, inhaling the crispness of the season, all the while bearing greater witness to the beauty of God’s design–especially the trees bursting a brilliant palette before their leaves succumb to the coming winter wind.

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