trees, fall, in the woods

Blue Ridge Parkway, near my parents' home

Nieces, nephews, siblings, parents. There are so many things to miss as this eastern girl contemplates what it means to live so far away from these things. It has been almost 25 years since I made the move west from my home state of Virginia. A new convert to the church, I craved, needed, to be at BYU to gain much more than just my academic knowledge. I was ready for a full baptism into this new life I had chosen and I was beyond excited to head this direction. The symbolism of the trek west was not lost on me either.

So for more than half my life now I have eased into being a westerner. I am finally used to the slower pace and the kind and gentle people. Even though the big vistas gave me a bit of anxiety at first, I now can't imagine living without the wide open spaces. They seem critical to being happy and well-adjusted, which I strive for.

But there is one time of year that I become melancholy. I let those sneaky flecks of nostalgia cover me up like that first light snow. Before I know it I am just a tad homesick. October gets me right in the gut and I find myself fantasizing about trees that are bright red and gold and leaf piles that just don't quit. Yes, there are colored trees here, but they are mostly changing up in the mountains and they go so fast. There have been a number of years when the family and I just don't get up there in time to see anything spectacular.

So if my next posts throughout the month come across as introspective, be assured it is a phase. I am happy, just thinking of forests filled with fallen jewels.


Heather of the EO | October 11, 2008 at 7:44 PM

I love that last line so much.

I think introspective goes with fall even if you're right here in the MN gold, red and orange trees. Or maybe it's just me...

I'm sorry you have to miss it though. I would too. Beautiful photos!

Miss Brandy | October 11, 2008 at 10:15 PM

I lol when I read about the slower pace here. Jason, from NC thinks we are so high strung (well, WE are, you and I), out west and that we can't let anything go. I think the south, and not so much the east has affected him. He's getting used to it though. I don't think he could sucessfully do his business without a little get-up-and-go.

Heidi | October 12, 2008 at 4:39 PM

Forests filled with fallen jewels--ah, so beautiful! We get almost no fall action here in the SF bay area. A little but nothing like Utah, even. I would love to visit the east in the fall--or spring. sigh . ..

Little GrumpyAngel | October 12, 2008 at 7:03 PM

I would love to see the East,specifically Virginia, in the fall someday because of this beautiful post. I came from the tropics, straight to Utah ---big system shock :-) then settled in California. So I consider myself a Westerner. I would love to experience what you so beautifully described here.

Dedee | October 13, 2008 at 11:30 AM

I've never been back east. (Give me a couple of years and I'll be there.) But I lived in the Pacific Northwest for four years where the trees were brilliantly colored and the colors went on and on. We picked leaves from the trees and tried to make art with them so that we could remember. I miss it when I see the swiftly fleeting colors that the Wasatch Front brings.

Thanks for commenting on my post on the AnneX today.

charrette | October 20, 2008 at 11:11 PM

There is nothing i love more than autumn leaves (or as you so aptly put it, fallen jewels). The colors buoy my spirits for the winter months that lie ahead. Right now I am basking, filling my visual storage tank, floating on the deliciousness that is erupting and falling all around me.

--And of course everything I see is a painting!