The road ahead feels rather dark and murky at the moment.
It rained in the night, and when I opened the slider to let our cat out on the deck I was met with a blast of frigid air.
Not freezing yet, and for that we’re grateful.
But cold enough. And its windy today. It was 38 on the car thermometer when I climbed in this morning.
This is when November gets down to its task of sweeping another summer away.
I think of November as a great, fastidious janitor sweeping down every leaf and flattening everything it can; cleaning up after summer for another year.
The road ahead leads us into the valley of winter; frosty beauty found among the remains of the year just passed.
Winter brings deep silence, especially here in our forest community. Lawn mowers, blowers, and chain saws oiled and blessedly put away for a few months.
Winter brings time to read, to plan, and to rest.
Winter brings twinkling holiday lights, colorful wreathes and ornamented trees.
And winter often brings clarity.
An opportunity to see clear through to the bones; whether to the structure of the garden, the skeleton of a tree, or the outlines of one’s own road ahead.
Those of us well north of the equator, and especially those of us in North America, are traveling this road towards winter together.
As the days grow shorter and our gardens fill with snow and ice, let us find a warm and comforting place to wait it out.
Those who don’t want to live in darkness need only light a candle, as the proverb tells us.
And we can light candles for each other, offering the warmth of love and friendship to those sharing this bit of the road with us.
Roads go ever ever on,
Over rock and under tree,
By caves where never sun has shone,
By streams that never find the sea;
Over snow by winter sown,
And through the merry flowers of June,
Over grass and over stone,
And under mountains in the moon.
Roads go ever ever on
Under cloud and under star,
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green
And trees and hills they long have known.
J.R.R Tolkien, from The Hobbit
Photos by Woodland Gnome 2014