"I've never known anyone yet who doesn't suffer a certain restlessness when autumn rolls around...we're all eight years old again and anything is possible." ~ Sue Grafton
The scenes on this trip could not have been more of a contrast to those I had witnessed in Africa just a few days prior...the wild, lush beauty of Uganda vs. the urban landscape and busyness of New York City. Million-dollar mansions in the New Jersey countryside vs. the slums of Kibera. I spent many moments on the subway staring out the graffiti'd windows in a daze, the voices of the orphans singing still echoing in my head. Hard to believe that such contrasts exist in the same world...
On this trip, autumn was experienced through one long walk after another. The leaves were at their peak - firey reds, golden yellows, laying a carpet underneath our feet as we trekked from my parents' house into downtown Madison to board the train for the big city.
In New York, we ate at some new favorites, all recommended by our virtual tour guide, Tara Leigh, who was just a phone call away...places like Max Brenner's Chocolate by the Bald Man, Spring Street Natural, and Think Coffee. We camped inside Chelsea Market hoping for a Rachael Ray sighting (no luck) and strolled through Central Park where the curbs were scattered with leaves, and folks were already ice skating at the whimsical Wolman Rink.
It was jacket weather, and it was heavenly, of course.
Back in New Jersey, we spent an afternoon in the woods at Drew University where Brad and Steven sat on logs and smoked cigars, and Mary and I walked under the canopy marveling at the leaves.
As I look back on these autumn moments, I know that there is hope for the stark winter days that seem to literally and figuratively suck the life out of us. As long as there are seasons and color and leaves and shared meals and friends, it is going to be okay.