The sky is gray and when I went to pick some peppers from the garden I noticed the leaves on the fig tree are beginning to turn rusty around the edges. Fall is subtle here in Southwest Texas, quite unlike the crazy wild display we would get on the farm come October.
Subtle or no, it is my favorite season.
The other day I ran away from home for a couple of days of rest and recuperation. Those of you who know me well know that my favorite place to run away from home has been Big Bend National Park for about the last 30 years or so. Due to many unusual circumstances, it had been almost four months since I made my way down South.
Kids had good friends to care for them so I gathered my things and hopped in the car with my dear one. We drove into the sunset and relished the wide open space. I putzed, napped, baked a cake and read while R. went back to work. The next day we decided to take a short canoe ride down the Rio Grande. I felt like a true princess watching someone else do the hauling and rowing, since I was being so good to follow doctor's orders!
The river was down from flood stage. The banks had been scoured clean by all the rainwater. The river carried us along and I felt peace. Perfect peace. No traffic. No bills. No calls. No planning or inventory or orders or laundry or meals. Canyons, instead. Calm flowing water, gurgling along, occasionally the ripple of a little rapid or the sound of a canyon wren or crow. The sun toasted my arms and I was glad for a hat.
The riverbanks were a beautiful terra cotta, smooth as could be. When we made our way around a bend, I saw a cluster of bright yellow flowers and wondered how in the world could they have survived the flood when all the other growth had been washed away? We neared the bank, and all of a sudden the cluster of flowers rose up like magic, fluttering around us! Thousands of bright yellow butterflies, taking a rest on the cool, moist riverbank.
I felt so lucky! So blessed! We were part of a magical yellow butterfly globe! Seeing the apricot leaves this afternoon makes me remember that sweet moment on the river and just thinking about it takes my blood pressure down several notches!