I’m writing this on Friday, the Autumn Equinox. It’s cold this morning and we’ve had freezing rain the last two days here in the valley that Reno is tucked into. Up on the mountain tops, that rain has been snow, and they are sparkling just now as the early rays of pink sun reach them.
When we arrived here in late May, the air was crisp and the snow was still so deep on the mountains as to make them impassable in some areas. We watched as the snow began to melt away and fell in love with this place in the warmth of the long summer days. The elms in our campground grew lanky and lush, and the river, my first in more than a decade, taught me its rhythms as it went from swollen with snow-melt to emaciated after a long, dry season.
And now, once again, there is snow on the mountain.
Today the dark and the light sit in equilibrium, balanced here for this single day before we tip into longer nights than days. Today marks the shift in season, the days growing colder as we move toward winter. This is our last week in this place we’ve grown to love and Monday marks our own shift as we pack up and begin our journey east for the winter.
Maybe it’s the drizzle falling as I write this morning. Or maybe it’s the news I just received that a dear friend’s father was just diagnosed with aggressive, late stage cancer and is likely to be so suddenly gone in a few devastatingly short months. Or maybe it’s the connections I’ve made to this place, the ways I allowed my roots to begin to dig in deep. But there is a tiny catch in my chest as I move to embrace these many shifts, a tiny pull of resistance to change and the inevitability of time, the loss that inevitably balances the gain.
Seasons change and time marches forward. I know that resistance is, as they say, futile. So I must set it aside and allow myself to be here in this change, to live in the longer nights and to embrace the colder days as we prepare to move on again. To grieve for and with my friend and her family, and not shy away from the rage I feel at the injustice of a life stolen too soon. To remain rooted in the gratitude I feel for the unexpected connections I’ve felt for this place and the people who have shared their lives and love with us here.
So it’s goodbye for now…to long, warm days, to this many-faced town tucked in among the mighty mountains, to the friends we’ve made here. On Monday, we’ll settle our little home into her winter storage and point our truck east, sure in the knowledge that goodbyes are always followed by hellos, that each new season brings its own gifts, that pain can break us open to love even more deeply.
I’m not precisely sure what to expect over the next few weeks as we mosey across Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, etc as we make our way to New Hampshire. I have images from our ten days in the PNW that I want to share with you, so I *hope* to get them finished and scheduled here for the weeks we’re on the road…we shall see! But follow along on Instagram if you are so inclined, and know that I will be hoarding memories and experiences and beautiful images for you as we spend my favorite month in some of my very favorite places on earth. In the meantime, here are a few shots from the magnificent Lassen Volcanic National Park…oh how I want more time there!