Somehow it seems like this year has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just summer a few weeks ago, and now it’s suddenly winter, sliding into the home stretch to the solstice. Where did fall go? Here in the Pacific Northwest, days get very short this time of year, with the sun setting around 4 PM. Because of my schedule, I’ve started trying to run in the mornings instead of the afternoons or evenings, so have had a chance to enjoy the splendors of winter mornings, the only time I’m up “early” enough to actually experience a sunrise. Yesterday was clear and sunny, but very cold, with frost everywhere on the ground. The air smelled clean and earthy, punctuated by the occasional plume of smoke from someone’s wood fire. On the way home I picked some lavender and a late-blooming rose for our cat’s new grave. I’m learning that cut flowers last a ridiculously long time outdoors.
When I look out my window as I write, most of the leaves have fallen off the trees, restoring my view of the snow-capped Olympic Mountains. To me, this is a sad time of year, just cold enough to kill a lot of vegetation with night frosts, but not cold enough to really drive one indoors to a warm fireplace, hot drinks, and hibernation mode.
This week and next are also the home stretch into the end of fall quarter, with a grand finale of exams, term papers, and meetings that’s like the last burst of a fireworks show when they just decide to send up everything that’s left and light up the whole sky. Instead of running today, I’m squeezing in a minimal blog post before I have to leave the house at 8:30 for a morning meeting that kicks off a round of business that doesn’t end until late tonight. By next week, or at least mid-December I hope to get back to posting more.
[Photo of winter sunrise is from the webcam of our local ski area]