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Canberra’s had her autumn party frock on for the past few weeks, and what a party it’s been. The region looks so pretty in its purple, red, orange and yellow glad rags. Every day I’ve watched the trees in my street becoming more beautiful. I’ve seen the first fogs of the season hanging over the Arboretum, where a whole forest of yellow sits alongside a forest of red, which sits alongside a forest of orange, which sits alongside…well, you get the picture. And talking of pictures, my plan was to drive around and take masses of autumnal photos to post here to brighten up your day. But all I’ve managed to take are a couple of shots of the view from my back garden.

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Autumn used to mean a slowing down, a time to make soup and bake, a time to be cosy inside or to stride out for a walk under a still blue sky and feel the cool but not yet cold air on your face. I don’t know what’s happened, but there doesn’t seem to have been much slowing down so far this year. Are you finding that too? I was planning to write a post last week about the value of time but I didn’t have time to write it!

I did manage a walk, though, a long, delightful ramble up a nearby hill. I’ve been meaning to walk up that hill for ages. I tried to walk up it a few months ago but couldn’t find the beginning of the path. I thought I could cut across a golf course and end up at the bottom of the hill, but all I found was a fence. There didn’t seem to be an opening. Months later, I noticed someone else walking that way and he didn’t come back, so I decided there MUST be an opening in the fence somewhere. I went and looked again and realised that I’d missed it the first time because I’d been approaching it from the wrong angle. I just didn’t see it. And if that ain’t a metaphor for life, I don’t know what is!

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So off I went, up the hill. It felt so good to huff and puff a bit, to stretch the muscles and the lungs and the imagination. It felt good to take the winding path, the long view, to look out beyond the ‘burbs to the Brindabellas stretching away into the never-never. I met some friendly cows. I looked at interesting grasses and seed pods and rocks. When I got to the top of the hill, two wedge-tailed eagles appeared out of nowhere and circled above me in the blue, blue sky. It was a magic moment.

And what struck me the most as I stood at the top and looked out was that it was only the first hill. The path kept going. There were more hills to climb, more winding paths to follow, more views to see. I didn’t keep going that day; I walked home happy and made a cup of tea. But those trails are still there, waiting to lead to the next adventure. Who knows what’s around the corner? Happy autumn ramblings to you!

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