It’s such a beautiful season of exploding color that one day we decided to go leaf-peeping. Not only would this be a gorgeous and relaxing break from routine, but it’d also be a great way to explore our new area. So my spouse, myself, and our dog loaded up in the vehicle and went on a quest to chase fall beauty.

We began north on a road that had been recommended to us, and holy wow was it brilliant. Two lane, sweeping, curving, hugged by trees on both sides interspersed with various lakes practically kissing the shoulders, I swear it had to be the road in mind when song lyrics were written. That ribbon of highway…

And surprise! At the end of this miles-long stretch was an interpretive center. It turns out, we were on a national scenic byway that is a known destination for fall color tours.

the photo doesn’t do the experience justice

At the interpretive center we picked up a — surprise! — actual leaf tour map of the area. Quickly abandoning our original thought of just returning back down the wonderful road we came in on, we instead took a new path east. Again, out-loud Ooohs and Aaahs from both of us at the visual treat. And surprise! At the end of this leg was a wonderful roadside bar/restaurant, so we stopped for lunch.

From here, we headed south on a different road. And surprise! We discovered a new-to-us state park to turn into and explore, on our path back toward home.

On that still-new path back toward home, we noticed that although it was Fall Pretty, the leaf color had steadily muted from the brilliant vibrance that we had experienced at the start of our quest. Not complaining, just noticing — and mentally revisiting that breath-catching beauty of the first leg on our journey. And then…

We turned off the main highway, onto the county road toward home. And once again, the color absolutely popped. We looked at each other sideways over the next few miles. “Wait. Are you seeing this, too?”

Next, we turned onto the dead-end gravel road. And the leaves here also were steadily more vibrant. “This is amazing!”

Finally, we turned down our driveway. Here, we were absolutely stunned at the seasonal brilliance. Lining our path, framing our home, encircling our deck.

Even the view from inside, out the window of our daily movements, was phenomenal.

Here we had been on an adventure to discover fall beauty — and it had been here the whole time.

Right In My Back Yard.

We laughed together and deeply appreciated the lesson. Yup — we really do already have that which we search for.

Seek, and ye shall find.

What else might we be seeking? Joy. Love. Trust. Understanding. Compassion. Friendship. Community. Health. Wellness, in all its forms. Patience. Peace. Grace. Time. Presence. God. Meaningful work in the world. Balance.

What do you seek, today? Where can you discover it is already here for you? (Remember to actually check right in your backyard!)

begin again

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