There is beauty before we become the frozen land. The final hurrah before the white, smothering blanket lay itself over our countryside, creating a different and not entirely appreciated beauty of its own.
The leaves are changing hue and the roses are still in full glory. Everything else has gone to seed, knowing the days are short and the frost is near. Most of my life has been lived in this cycle, but I never grow tired of it, of the blazing colors of autumn, the smell of wood smoke in the air, the crunching of leaves underfoot. Every year I lay my face against the soft, wooly neck of my beautiful horses, starting to resemble wooly mammoths, smelling their wonderful horse smell and know it is just around the corner. The long, big freeze.
Every single time, I feel a sense of anticipation and an almost childish glee with the coming of the first snowfall. It covers the ugly brown earth that is November in this place, it is the signal that we will now slow down and wait. We will eat chili and soup. There will be bread in the oven and cookies on the platter. There will also be that dreadful winter weight, but as I age, I care about that less and less. I will have my bread and cookies, I will light the fire and I will wait for spring.
But now, we have our beautiful autumn, the best time of the year in this land. It is a fleeting moment, one we grab and hold onto, pretending it will last longer than it ever does. This is how we survive.