The fall here has been beautiful, if early, due the unbelievably dry conditions (I have never witnessed such a dry year in my life). Scrub oak, maple, aspen, sage and undergrowth all make for a beautiful mix of color and unmistakable "westernness" that says home and harvest and crisp air -- in a word, happiness. We have made some effort to get out and enjoy it. First up was a Holbrook Canyon hike one Sunday afternoon with the family.
I love this little stream. As I have posted previously, I grew up here; it was my playground and for a time my only non-parental friend (we lived high up on the hill, with no other houses around). It has been so dry this year I was worried that the cooling water might be less than a trickle, but somehow it was still full enough to make dam building a fun distraction for the kids. Being with them and my sweetheart, in a place I love, surrounded by such color, was just wonderful.
Next up was a quick trip to Deer Valley with Kathleen. We left the kids with Kevin and Angela and my Mom and Dad (thanks everyone!) and spent a weekend driving, biking and hiking around Guardsman Pass, Wasatch Mountain State Park, and Midway, with great meals in Park City thrown in around the edges. The colors in Wasatch Mountain State Park (which was founded by my Grandpa Aldin when he was State Parks Director) were amazing.
We stumbled upon a grove of maple that had shed most of its leaves, and yet felt almost like a cathedral. Here are a few pictures.
I love fall leaves, they are one of the things that make me believe in the love of God. I know some scientist somewhere will say they simply turn color because of a chemical reaction triggered by cold and fading light, and that's it, but such folks are so wrong to stop there, and assert it as proof of nothing more. Fine, so chemicals and cold and light produce a reaction -- why? Why do they behave that way? Why do they do it here, all around us, in the fall, just as the hardship of winter approaches? Who ordained that these principles or laws or facts -- whatever you want to call them -- should exist and work that way?
It seems to me all these questions come down to one of two answers: (a) they just do, or (b) God made it that way. Einstein, in the end, believed that because the universe had order, and could be understood and predicted, and held such beauty, that there must be a divinity. I'll side with him on that. Sunsets make me feel the same way.
These too are the colors of my home, and for me they are a divine message saying, 'don't fear the dark or the cold of night, I am here.' I realize that others may say it is simply a product of the wavelengths of light and the prismatic effect of the atmosphere, but that stops so far short of the real issue. Everyone is free to choose, that is what life is for, after all, but as for me, I choose to believe there is a source of light and joy and beauty, who made all this, against all odds, in the vast cold vacuum of space. One of my favorite scriptures is found in our Pearl of Great Price, which says "all things are created and made to bear record of me," and for me, they very much do.