TWENTY-ONE YEARS AGO in October, my husband and I planned an overnight stay at a bed-and-breakfast in Taylors Falls. We anticipated gorgeous fall colors and rare time alone without the responsibilities of parenting three children.
But then my mother-in-law died unexpectedly a week before the booked get-away and we never rescheduled the trip.
This past week, we finally made it to the twin St. Croix River valley communities of Taylors Falls on the Minnesota side and St. Croix Falls in Wisconsin, staying at a chain hotel rather than a B & B. We found the glorious autumn colors we had hoped for and the freedom that comes with being empty nesters.
Hop in the van and go. Stop when and where we want. Drive along a winding river road. Hike without worry of kids trailing off the trail or plummeting over the edge of a rocky ledge. Eat late. Sleep in.
There’s something to be said for this season of life, this nearing age sixty that causes me to pause, to delight in the view, to reflect and appreciate and yearn for the past while simultaneously appreciating the days I live and those which lie before me.
Perhaps I think too deeply, too poetically sometimes.
But like the trees buffeting the banks of the St. Croix, I see my days reflected in the river of life.
Blazing colors mingling with green.
Changed and unchanging.
Yesterday, today, tomorrow.
© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling