Slow Down

The last of the fall leaves have turned brown and brittle, and the woods wrap around our little house in a blur of gray, spindly limbs. Only the most stubborn leaves linger, falling a few at a time to the cold, hard ground. Frost blooms on our windshields overnight, and the wind grows colder and sharper as winter approaches.

We burrow inside like rabbits, pulling on warm sweaters and fuzzy socks, cuddling on the couch under thick blankets, snuggling next to each other in bed, two humans and a dog.

Though my body tenses against the cold, and my skin grows dry and chapped, I welcome this season. It's as though the world has been stripped bare and only what's absolutely essential remains. I feel free to rest, to contemplate, to observe.

I stand at the window a little longer in the morning, watching the wind gently shake the naked trees, listening to the rustle of leaves as squirrels bury their winter store of nuts, searching the woods for the white tail of an elusive fox that recently inhabited our brush pile. I feel a part of this little habitat on a hill.

Even the dog seems to relish in the slower pace. She remains curled in a ball on the bed, her brown eyes pleading with me to stay and sleep awhile longer.

The natural world is whispering for our attention, and the message is clear.

Slow down. Rest. Breathe.


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