Living in the greater Phoenix area, changing seasons amount to the realization one day that the sun sets earlier as you drive home from work, or perhaps a gust of cool wind that unexpectedly sends you to a nostalgic moment in time seemingly long ago in which nature allowed you to sleep with your windows open. October is such a unique month, it is so noticeable and while you predict it will come with each passing day it still somehow surprises you. At least this is how it is with me.
In a way, the changing of the seasons fills me with melancholy. I still have yet to understand the root of this feeling. Perhaps it is knowing that another season has past, that I am growing older, that change is inescapable. While these emotions hit me at a subconscious level, I look to myself and see that while things come and go and even though you can’t stop time from moving forward, that things are good. Each year I add to the sum total of my life experiences, and from them I grow stronger and more capable of understanding who I am. Also important, I am more fortified to withstand those inevitable changes.
Flagstaff is slowly blooming with the colors of autumn. Quite unlike my home city, the landscape here tells you, not with a whisper but with a shout, that winter comes. Wind causes the leaves of the aspens to chatter, softly coming and going in gusts, faint voices of other hikers can be heard in the distance. It’s cool, somewhere around 60 degrees, still warm enough with the sunlight touching your skin to wear summer cloths, but the shadows make the temperature more than evident.