On a crisp autumn afternoon, I step onto a public pathway and fall in love with fall.
I’ve always tried to call the season by its proper name: autumn. I think it was never a true season for me. I lived in places where there were no real seasons, or where the change from one time of year to another was more like summer-winter (and a small winter at that.) Well, there was once that wild weather year in Ukraine, but that is best forgotten. Here, in Tumwater Washington, USA, there is a true autumn where leaves really do fall and weather straddles that divide between summer’s and winter’s extremes. Fall is here, not just autumn, and I can’t wait to see this season progress.
Today I step for the first time onto the path in Tumwater Historical Park, and there is nothing but delight all around. Breathe in, and the crisp smell of water-plants-mulch-dirt-leaves-flowers-moist air gives a refresher that must be more healthy than a million daily vitamins.
Photos do that wonderful trick of being perfect without any magic from me – not that I know how to put magic into pictures. The water reflects the image of perfect trees, perfect geese, perfect ducks, perfect buildings. Around the curves in this path, bushes arrange themselves into perfect arbors and before I can wish they were there, docks jut into the lake for me to walk upon.
I walk under Interstate #5, a phenomenally busy highway, without noticing any traffic noise. Maybe it’s there, but my attention is pulled ahead to Capitol Lake and a perfect view to the State Capitol building. The pathway is just busy enough with fellow walkers to keep me company, without blocking my views or making me run from crowds.
Walking is a physical venture. Sometimes that is enough. Every once in a while, though, a walk comes along and offers more than simply putting feet to ground. That this one came during my first fall here is just perfect.