I called this spot “The Avenue.” The name is a nod to LM Montgomery’s famous character Anne Shirley who gave beautiful names to the beautiful places she loved. The Avenue was the name she gave to one such spot.
This heavenly place is at Metahqua Nature Preserve in Ross County. I went there Friday morning because someone told me the fall foliage around the pond atop the hill is always the most beautiful in Ross County.
And it is gorgeous but I loved this other spot more.
The light was golden, giving the foliage new life in a way that can only happen in mid October.
A hawk soared overhead as a white tailed deer sniffed the air. Both were embracing the day and living their best lives even while aging leaves released their hold on life and drifted gently to the ground.
These leaves provided a carpet of gold, brown, orange and red that crunched beneath my feet. They also provided that wonderful smell that defines fall. It really is just the smell of decomposition as those leaves break down and return to the earth but it always fills me with joy and even hope. There are better days ahead.
There is no cell service in this area so there were no interruptions save for a few squirrels as they busily darted about.
I absorbed all I could of this rare, beautiful, almost magical morning. It was fall and I wanted to soak in the sights and sounds and smells as much as my mortal body would allow. First breathing through the nose, then through the mouth so I could taste it too.
This place was more heartfelt, more beautiful and more sacred than any church. That moment was more holy than any I have experienced.
In case you wish to dawdle at this nature preserve, there are a couple of benches overlooking the pond.
Go into the woods, friends. Find a place that is quiet and almost heavenly and stand there. Allow your senses to engage in a way that simply isn’t possible other places.
You can thank me later.