This time of year, I pull my hat out of the drawer, but leave my gloves behind. My ears get cold first. A sign that autumn is here. This morning--in the early hours of the equinox--I ran with my dogs, Winn-Dixie and Fundy. We were on the 4 mile trail that winds and curves along the Winooski River, which winds and curves through Richmond, the small town in northern Vermont that I call home. One of my favorite places on earth.
Down on the trail, Winn-Dixie took off ahead of me. (Yup, he's named after the Winn-Dixie. He was a stray from down south, after all. And he smiles too!) Winn always cruises, but he seemed to sniff out even more creatures in the cooler air, and put even more distance between us than usual. Fundy trotted behind me, more interested in finding an easy access to the river. She swims like it's summer, no matter what the season is. And me? The water is too cold for me now, but I loved running alongside it, watching the low mist move at the same lazy pace as the current, and I loved the on again-off again smell of wood smoke wafting from the few houses on the road above that make it a rule to start their woodstoves on the first day of fall.
This trail--where the water and the earth meet--always feels magical to me. And today it felt especially so. This is the place where I feel the most whole and the most like me, and at the same time it is where I feel utterly and completely woven into the world.
My feet...the roots of the tree...my hands...the unfurled ferns...my breath...the wind...