Take a moment to appreciate the colors of fall. Find a colorful group of trees then stop, quiet your mind, take a deep breath, and just enjoy the beauty.
Under clear blue skies, a gentle fall breeze passed almost silently around me. With the temperature in the low 60's, the air was perfect and now free from the haze of summer's humidity. This was our first October in our new house. We knew that the panoramic views from here were stunning, but it was especially beautiful today. Built on reclaimed strip-mine land, our two and a half acres are surrounded by open, rolling spaces which seem to have been carved from somewhere besides southern Indiana.
My wife Sarah and I arrived at my mom's house in the late afternoon on the Fourth of July, a Thursday. Our plans for the evening included attending the Saline County fireworks display in Harrisburg, Illinois as we have for most of the last few years. Heat, humidity, and a complete lack of wind made the air seem like solid matter that created its own kind of drag as we walked. While it wasn't as hot as it could have been,
Endless vistas of exploding frogs
Spreading through the darkened corners
Consuming night and convoluting
My mind's awareness of the physical
My gentle drifting off to sleep
Becomes a rush of vivid color
Unveils a landscape dark and red
Maybe a dream, perhaps a vision
A large black wolf slithers up to me
His eyes betraying evil sentience
To his humor, he lowly rumbles
"I know how it all comes out"
His hot breath penetrates my soul
I wonder at his words and he says
"I'm from a place lacking time
Where all existence is at once
"I'm a messenger from the realm
From before life and after death
I know who dies and when and why
I've seen the pains of your whole life
"When passing through your dreaming lands
Where in one you find me lurking
Standing, glaring with my sneering smirk
Then brace your heart, a death is near
"I'm just a player in the endless vista
A vital member of life's game
I should not be a creature feared
I mark the path that takes you home"