Walking deep into Catoctin Mountain Park, off the trail, the leaves were marvelous. As the wind blew they flew all around us and hit the ground making little pitter-patter sounds just like rain. It’s an exceptional thrill to experience the turning of the season.

The smell of the Earth was palpable. The unmistakable musky sweet odor of decaying leaves turning into the soil was everywhere, as were the tiny burrs that cling to clothing as they seek a journey that will ensure the survival of their species.

Sita, our canine wonder-dog, joined my daughter, Ruchi, and I for this luscious hike away from the grid and into the wilderness. We were three creatures from the same pack exploring the world at the natural inflection point we love to call fall.

First hand we could feel Nature’s giant cycle instigated by the tilt of the planet and our orbit around the sun. It always reminds me that I am living my life in a much bigger time cycle than I usually imagine. Deep time. Years stretch into centuries that stretch into millennia and those into thousands of millennia, eons.

As we work in the world, it is important to keep in mind that so much of what we experience is beyond our control, determined by external factors. Some are as fundamental as the laws of physics and others of our own making. Where is our influence? What can we do besides marvel?

I am an advocate for doing what we can to ensure health and happiness for all those we share this world with. It sounds simplistic, naive even, given all of the post-modern inclinations of our world today. Nonetheless, it sustains me and I organize my life around it. Influence where I can. Accept what I cannot change.

Where will you exert agency in the week ahead?

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
– Reinhold Niebuhr