The morning dawned unseasonably warm at 60 degrees and the skies had that ominous look of rain that would descend at any moment. Since the weather for the day was so uncertain, I decided to head over to Avalon to discover what changes the winter solstice had brought.
After parking near the old grist mill, I crossed the road to the pond, pausing to watch the rather large convention of ducks, geese and gulls. The land closest to to the major road, the pond itself and the area above was filled with complaining water fowl; all adding their comments of dismay about the weather.
Walking the boardwalk on the far side of the pond I found some bushes, devoid of the lush leaves of summer and the crisp foliage of autumn. Not a single leaf was clinging to these bare twigs. The berries of summer and fall however, had turned a nice bright crimson, which gave some color to this winter looking day.
Gazing across the pond, I discovered a tree filled with last summer’s nests. I counted at least 30 nests in the one tree, close enough to communicate and socialize with their neighbors. I had no idea that birds liked living so close to each other, condominium style!
Ascending the stone steps toward the labyrinth I found a lone leaf, untouched by the breeze that had swept all its comrades deeper into the woods. It seemed a sign that autumn had truly departed and now, we were all anticipating the return of longer daylight hours and the rebirth that the longer days will bring. But first, we await the beauty that winter brings in its own way.
As I walked along the ridge towards the labyrinth, I meditated on the scene below me. It is place teeming with visitors in the warmer seasons; feathered companions, turtles dozing in the smaller pond below and the two legged visitors who come to admire it all. For now, I am the only visitor soaking in the wonders that this place offers during the winter season.