I went for a walk this evening. I use walking as a means to dump some stress. By pounding it out on the pavement, I’m not as apt to take it out on some deserving person who annoys me. Walking is safer for everyone involved.

Since it was quite cloudy and approaching sunset, and most of the leaves have turned and fallen, there wasn’t much to look at. There was, however, the wonderful autumn air.  Even on bright, sunny days, there is a brisk feeling in the air. It is not only cool and crisp, it  also has a unique fragrance. Just standing and breathing is a pleasure in the fall.

The autumn air is special. It’s full and rich, with a deep combination of scents. The tinny fragrance of chrysanthemums on front porches in black flower pots, the sharp smell of grass as lawns are being mowed for the last time of the year, the musty smell of leaves of many colors that are strewn across lawns and streets, the lofting smoke from piles of damp leaves that have been raked together and are slowly burning, the unknown sweet odors – is it from a bush or some unseen flower, and the robust deepness from the dried soybeans that farmers are harvesting.

The smell of the air in the spring, summer, and winter, is completely unlike the autumn air. In the spring, it smells sweet, filled with the fragrances of blooming flowers, and the pollen that comes with them. The summer brings the heaviness with humidity, and more pollen. In the winter, it’s often too cold to breathe outside for long. Then there is the autumn, filled with the diversity of so many different things. It’s like an aromatic wine or perfume, inviting the nose out for a drive to enjoy every nuance.

My world is a stressful one, full of professional, political, personal, and emotional matters. Short of making major changes in my activities, these matters won’t go away on their own. So I’ll continue to dance and walk, leaving the stress, or as much of it as is possible, on the floor or the pavement. Some times in the year, it just becomes easier to enjoy the journey.

~Temerity Dowell


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