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I’ve spent the past week in a small condo in a mountain village one hundred miles north of my home town. This has become a yearly fall pilgrimage: a time for catching up on my reading, writing, hiking, and trying unsuccessfully to capture the magnificence of the land through the lens of my camera. 

During the night, a storm front moved in. Around 3 AM I awoke to the sound of the sky cracking open, flashes of light cutting through the clouds like search lights beckoning dancers to a new nightclub. A breeze rustled the curtains against the open window pane. I smiled and snuggled deeper into the covers, hearing my former father-in-law’s heavily accented “donner und blitzen” (thunder and lightening). The sound of rain splashing from the roof and battering the pavement outside lulled me back to sleep.

This morning, the show returned for an encore. I sit in the dark with my cup of coffee, catching up on my computer reading.  Again, the gods are dueling above, barking and rumbling discontent, their laser swords arcing and flashing across the sky. At this elevation tears drench the earth, saturating the soil, preparing it for the coming onslaught of frozen entombment. Higher up, the moisture has crystalized and is floating down to drape the rocks, the trees, and the wilting grasses in a chemise of white. 

Ain’t life grand? I am so blessed to be of this world, to have my senses, to have my health, to be able to enjoy the gifts of existence.

Josephine Lake