We become so accustomed to a long summer and a fall in the deep South that we only experience a couple of months of moderate winter. We experience season change, but nothing like our friends in the upper latitudes and higher altitudes do. Winter is surely coming, for all of us, but winter can look very different depending upon where you are.
These beautiful wildflowers will continue to show their color until the first deep frost of the season. When winter finally comes, the color will disappear, but until then the hardiest flowers continue to bloom and paint the mountainside with glorious color for all to enjoy. Winter is coming, but summer and fall fight to hold their grip until winter finally wins the battle for dominance until Spring. The Mountain Ash berries will make a beautiful backdrop when those first snowflakes begin to fall, but they too will soon disappear as winter comes to stay.
As I hiked those mountain trails, I thought how similar to our lives this changing of seasons is. Winter will come for all of us at some point, but we cling to fall as long as we possibly can. Fall and winter are not always completely devoid of fruit and flower in our lives. Many are able to continue to bloom and show their colors even in the midst of the winter of their lives. Even in the deepest and most barren of winters, there is often great beauty to be found. Often we see brightly colored berries from holly bushes in the deepest winter and birds of all colors can grace the most barren of scenery. Winter is coming, but winter does not always mean complete dormancy. Often winter can be the most beautiful of all the seasons. It is all in how you look at what surrounds you and how you meet the day. Come on winter---we are ready!