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It feels like the ragged edges of January’s grief, disjointed, bent: like spent grains blooming florals at the bottom of a china tea cup. Yet, look again. See what’s there.

Rawness clings to soggy branches sweeping the barren meadow with spectral fingers. Mist dulls perspective, blanches color, and clouds skylines—There seems no wholeness. Yet, something keeps the components together. Bereft of apparent life, it speaks to the listening heart, floods the eye with satisfying dissonance.

A strange fare is afoot inviting our imaginations to feast upon what many call, the unsavory, but it is anything but that.

Do look again … Beauty has many flavors …

Do treat yourself to a solitary walk as shadows soften their waning effulgence into featheriness, before darkness envelopes the woods. Be still and listen for November whispers among the trees and shrubs. Be surprised.

Heed the umbra of raggedy yellows and browns and washed-out reds, strewn along wooded trails and massed along downed tree trunks. Be startled by the solitary burning bush, its buggy leaves teased by humid breezes.

Note thinning tangles of Missouri honeysuckle outlining the serpentine curve of the limestone creek bottom, its waters pooling in crevices. Look upward at naked branches snaking downwards like hag’s hair alive with witchery. Watch a gray squirrel dodge its tail scuttling up a maple tree.

Touch a hand-sized-leaf of the London plane tree, blushed with yellow and gripping a solitary branch like a forlorn orphan.

Feel winds clicking the mottled husks of a dogwood tree, stripped of its wine-crimson foliage and berries.

Such moments evoke deep smiles—We are not alone.

Such was my experience walking outdoors in November.

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