|It was cold, but not as cold as I thought it would be above the Interstate|
|The pine woods|
|My phone failed to capture the purple beauty of these wild flowers|
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10 (NIV)
I love Fall. Even though its arrival is slower and subdued in Florida compared to other states, it is there if you look for it. Wildflowers of purple and gold, the reddish brown of the cypress trees, the arrival of the snowbirds, both avian and human. I love the Thanksgiving season, a holiday that includes family get togethers and seasonal food without the requisite shopping and gift giving frenzy. I enjoy getting out my fall decorations, the straw wreath with silk autumn leaves. The pumpkins, glass, ceramic and quilted. The figurines of pilgrims and Indians. The turkeys. I love all the reds, golds and orange colors of fall and the quantity of decorations seems just right. Not the over the top extravaganza of Christmas. And of course, I love the unique blue of October skies, the hint of coolness in the air, the lengthening shadows, even the shorter days. Though I despise the adjustment of daylight savings time, at least we get our hour back. October is my favorite month in Florida, followed closely by November. Fall is like spring in other parts of the country. Time to emerge from the house after the long hot summer. To plant the gardens and to enjoy the mellow sunshine. This past weekend, I got to enjoy all that Fall offers with another trip to Ocala to ride the Florida Greenway. We stayed at Lynn I Farms again and each day rode for about four hours. On Saturday, despite the blustery wind that made the horses hopped up and frisky, we bundled up with scarves and long underwear heading west over the Land Bridge to the old Cross Florida Barge Canal site going up and over the sand hills piled high in that (thankfully) failed venture. We rode all the way from County Road 475 to County Road 449 seeing hardly another horse or rider on the way. The pine cones were huge and numerous on the ground and the wildflowers in their showy garb. While the pines swayed wildly overhead, we were snug and secure below, protected from the wind by the trees and dirt mounds. On Sunday, with less wind and cold, we rode east through what has been dubbed “Spider Kingdom” past the horse park and through two tunnels protecting us from the automobile traffic of the county roads. We could have ridden all the way across the state if we had enough time and daylight. As it was, we reluctantly turned around after a couple of hours, then, made our way back through the horse park and a Civil War reenactment. Fortunately, we got there before the big battle and the thundering cannons. And evaded the Boy Scouts who would have charged us $10 a car load, but didn’t quite know what to do with horses. The whole weekend was a time of respite on the cusp of transitioning from Halloween directly into Christmas. I hope to keep that sense of calm and quiet even into the holiday season.