Peace along the Potomac

Once a year, the fall colors and waning warm weather conspire to propel me out of doors, onto my bike, and into a conversation with Mother Nature.

The framed Rosslyn skyline was my starting point.

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The trees, some half-naked already, served as beautiful frames for the Washington monuments

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Even as some particularly dramatic trees obscured some of them (can you find the Washington Memorial among the weeping foliage?)

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Ah, there it is.

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My path led me past the airport to my favorite place.

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Where the rumbling of jet engines overhead did not obscure the squawks of misplaced seagulls

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the shady restaurant patio, dimmed after a summer of light, rested

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as did the sailboats

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impassive, allowing the wind to elicit chimes out of their sleeping sails

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Nature took out her full palette that morning

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Oranges transitioning to the most peaceful yellows

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Sudden, inflammatory bursts of color

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awoke all the lulled senses.

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A new path explored

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added the whistle and whoosh of trains to this autumn symphony

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And the Washington Memorial re-appeared again.

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The wind disturbed the apparent stillness, tracing patterns on the hill

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A GPS signal left unheeded, a highway exchanged for a bike-friendly bridge

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Leading to a grove smelling of pines, a change of setting

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But the fall palette was never far

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Peeking out from corners

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Showing the way to a nation’s resting place

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Leading the way onwards

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Showing the path home

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And home’s gentle, ever-present guardians.

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Veterans’ Day – also Polish Independence Day – always inspires my reflections. Click here to read last years’ and to compare the colors!