Fall is here! Cool nights and warm days are bringing brilliant changes to trees in the landscape. Pumpkins abound in decorations inside and outside the house. The geese are flying in formation overhead, heading south. My closet has more sweaters than t-shirts and the crop pants are in the back, behind the jeans. My sandals are in a box on a high shelf, waiting for a trip to a warm location, or warmer weather at home. My closet is in transition.

Yesterday was a beautiful fall day in Minnesota. Because of a last minute change in my day, I was fortunate to be able to take a long walk late in the morning. Life – and the choices I make about commitments and schedule – often dictates how and when I exercise. On those days when I give myself the gift of time, I often choose to walk around a lake near my home 3 times – yes 3 times! (A small lake – 2 miles around) It is a very powerful experience! The first round is for my mind, at a normal, reasonable pace. I let my mind wander and think about all sorts of things. The second, for my body, is at an elevated speed, with my arms and heart pumping. The third is for my spirit. I walk intentionally, very slowly, with my arms behind my back and my head down. I focus on my breath, listen to my heart, and let my thoughts go, instead of focusing on them. This walk requires time, but the benefit to my well-being is immeasurable, well worth the investment.

While on my walk I saw several Banded Woolly Bear Caterpillars, the larval form of the Isabella Tiger Moth. The woolly bear is thought to predict winter weather – the wider the strip, the more severe the winter. While that is not true, it brings back memories of my teaching days, when children would bring in woolly bears, leaves and other signs of fall from nature.

This is a time of transition and change. Go for a walk. Slow down, breathe deeply and listen to your heart. The universe moves.

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