On a crisp crimson morning in late September,
the sun and I awake for a resplendent journey.
The details of which, some seldom remember,
Yet by capturing its beauty, my senses return me.
With each crunchy step on the forest floor, my lungs fill with frigid fall air.
I smell crisp, pure pine needles,
and the rich, earthy dirt after a light midnight rain.
I smell musty dampened leaves,
and undeniably decaying molded bark.
As the shadowy forest engulfs me, my senses stir.
I see clear, cool river water run over glossy rocks,
and mossy algae on the polished pebbles nearby.
I see towering marsh grasses and water plants imprisoned in murky muddy puddles,
and vibrant pigmented leaves on the neighboring flora.
As the sun creeps over the tops of the tallest trees,
the forest comes alive.
I hear birds singing from all heights of the sky,
and the occasional frog joining in song from his home in the mud.
I hear the whizzing chirr of colorful insects,
and as the sun reaches its highest point,
a lone cicada cries desperately as this warm day grows even shorter than the last.
As the sun lowers below the horizon, I begin my voyage back home.
I feel frosty dew on the tips of the wild grass brush against my bare legs,
as my increasingly visible breath fogs my path, and goosebumps prickle my pale skin.
I feel the scratchy bark of the mighty oak against my palms,
and rub the flaky, paperlike bark of the birch tree between my cold, calloused fingertips.
As the sun and I both retreat to our homes, the crickets chirp their lovely lullabies.
I discover a wild raspberry bush,
and taste the gritty seeds and tangy, tart juice of its berries.
I take one last breathtaking look at the nature surrounding me,
and inhale one last taste of the cold September air.