A Moment of Silence

Virginia, I love you. Passionately.

I’m reminded of that fact every time I visit Shenandoah National Park, especially when it’s autumn and the bright leaves almost have me convinced there’s a forest fire spreading across the valley.

Honestly, I’d be glad if all of my days looked like this one at the park did: from the pre-hike burger at Thornton River Grille to the eye-popping walk just off Skyline Drive. I got to stand quietly on a stone wall overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains and let the wind whoosh around my outstretched arms. And there was the post-hike plate of warm apple pie, of course, with two (two!) scoops of ice cream and a big mug of coffee alongside. Virginia knows how to treat you right.

So here’s a moment of silence for the trees that have started to lose their fiery leaves, with the comforting knowledge that they’ll return again, like clockwork, after the thaw. And a moment of anticipation, too, for the cozy, quiet winter that will soon be descending on the park, and on all of us.

If you can, get outside this weekend, my dear friends. Savor the end of autumn before it sweeps away, leaving us in its wake.

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