September 22nd - the autumnal equinox - as close to equal light and dark as our days in the northern hemisphere get. Here in Spruce Grove we have early snow, or as we like to call it 'first winter'.
A time for reflection, a time to let go, a time to move into the the next phase of our year. As the daylight shortens over the next three months, it's time to contemplate, review and plan a strategy for getting through our winter season.
In my house, we are not avid outside winter activity people. Late fall and winter are when we pack away our trailer, kayaks and camping gear and work on inside projects. Like autumn, our projects have many hues - house renovations, photo projects, writing, reading, hunkering and just plain out enjoying the slower pace after a summer spent outside.
Warm slippers, cosy blankets, mugs of tea and the occasional fire in the fireplace enhance our days and lend themselves nicely to our sense of homey content.
I used to think that I wanted to live somewhere without snow. I think I would miss the change of the seasons, though, however brief that may be each year. There is a certain rightness to the seasons, to the ebb and flow of energies, to the peace of winter's stillness, and the energy of summer's heat.
The waterfall in our pond still bravely carries on flowing, surrounded by a soft mantle of fresh snow, with summer's flowers still peeking through, not quite ready to say goodbye. It's a pause - that place where autumn may yet parade her glorious colours before succumbing to the inevitable. We too can pause, reflect and remember before our winter's nap takes hold.