It was a cool, brisk morning in the Brush Lake forest. The temperature is around fifty degrees. There’s a slight mid-morning breeze coming in from the northeast. The warm Autumn sun is climbing above the horizon to the east. The September air is damp and moist with the showers from the day before. The grass of the trails is blanketed with a thin layer of morning dew.
I set off on a trek with a small group of my friends from our starting point by the bus that brought us here. I stay near the back of the pack so I can observe everything around me. Hearing the sounds of the forest was not an easy task with my friend Jack hobbling down the trail with his crutches. But I was able to feel the moisture of the air and the warmth of the morning sun on my face. After about a quarter of a mile of hiking on the trail, we stumble upon a dusty wooden shelter. Jack immediately plops down on the ground to rest, so the rest of us follow his lead and decide this is where we would write for awhile.
As I sit on the bench of the wooden shelter and peer out into God’s beautiful creation, I notice the towering trees waving to each other as they are being blown by the chilly gusts of wind from the northeast. Some of the leaves of the trees have turned into blazing oranges, reds, and yellows as they prepare to be plucked from the grips of the trees. These colors remind me of the Autumn sun that is warming my back. Once they are blown off the trees, they flutter down gently for sixty feet like a helicopter coming in for a landing. Little do they know, in less than two months, they will be covered in a thin layer of ice and snow.
The lake is one of my favorite of God’s amazing masterpieces. The wind gusts are much more powerful and intense near the open water than they were in the cover of the shelter. The trees around the border of the lake are tall, brown licorice sticks being bent in the wind. The whitecaps at the crests of the waves remind me of the chilly winter months to come. As I peer into the openness of the lake, I see a fish break through the plane of the water to a catch a bug for a morning snack. Perhaps it was a smallmouth bass on the prowl for prey. It reminds me of how cruel and unforgiving nature can be.
It was the following day now, and it is a gorgeous Autumn day despite being a bit on the cooler side. The sky’s usual blue is covered by a blanket of gray clouds. Cumulonimbus and cumulus clouds. Light gray clouds are above me, but there are darker ones stampeding over the western horizon indicating that some more afternoon showers are on the way. The gravel of my driveway is already damp from an earlier drizzle in the day.
I’m laid back in a lawn chair on my porch. I’m covered by the edge of my roof, which is now protecting me from the light rain that’s coming down. I have always loved rainy days, whether it was just a drizzle like today, a downpour, or even a thunderstorm. There’s just something about the soothing sound of the raindrops knocking on the windows and roof of my house that helps me relax. The smell of the outdoors while it’s raining or just after it rains is one of the best smells in the world in my opinion.
Smells are such a powerful sense.
The leaves of the trees at my house are near the opposite of the ones at Brush Lake, as they are mostly green still. There are around twenty birch trees in my front yard and only a few of them have the intense yellows that everyone loves to see in Autumn. Each time the wind gusts, they wave to each other like friends greeting each other. I also notice the little water droplets on the leaves being rolled off onto the ground, eager to be absorbed by the grass. Even while the joyful Autumn sun is hidden behind the clouds, I can see the raindrops glistening on the leaves of the bushes and trees.
Nature can be beautiful, nature can be terrible. Nature can be a gorgeous occasion such as a double rainbow over a mountain on the day of an anniversary. Nature can be an awful natural disaster like Hurricane Harvey that causes millions of dollars in damage and takes innocent people’s lives. How we see nature is about the situation it puts us in. If we are on top of a mountain and gazing for miles, odds are we’re thinking positive thoughts. As I watched the raindrops race each other down the windows of my car, I couldn’t think of a negative thing to say about nature.