I awoke this morning with my inner jukebox playing Magic Carpet Ride, a Steppenwolf song from 1968. The lyrics include lines like: "Well, you don't know what we can find. Why don't you come with me ... on a magic carpet ride ... Close your eyes, look inside ... come with me on a magic carpet ride."
I'd just returned from a magic carpet ride, of sorts - two days of backpacking on the Superior Hiking Trail with lifelong friend, Kirk Lamb, a fellow traveler into the wilderness areas of mother nature and human nature.
Birds were rare. Deciduous trees were bare. The action, the beauty, the story of the forest was on the ground - the gray-brown-taupe of fallen birch leaves, the muted oranges, browns and maroons of maples. These leaves were not newly fallen. They'd been on the ground for a while. They'd been drenched, weathered, seasoned.
My thoughts turned toward seasons.
In the spring and summer, most of the action in the forest is above ground - buds, blossoms, birds, blue (and not-so-blue) skies. Likewise, in the spring and summer seasons of human life, our attention is drawn upward and outward, toward activity and accomplishment.
Autumn, for us humans, is a time of deepening, a time to journey downward and inward. Like fall's forest floor, the colors and textures of this season might appear dull to a cursory glance, but a closer look reveals richness, subtlety, beauty - the magic carpet of mature autumn.
Life's invitation is clear: James, it's time to ride.