Tree House

Until moving to the mountains of northeast Tennessee, I have never lived anyplace where nature is so closely tied to the calendar. I enjoy the symmetry, each season ebbing and flowing as if the earth has its own hidden tides.
Leaf forecasts suggested this would be a better than average year for fall color, and autumn lived up to expectation. I have spent my free time chasing foliageup and down the mountains, week by week, as color swept through the trees. And now, finally, it is nearly over. So when a planned trip to South Carolina allowed me to turn back the clock one more time, I was happy to head south though it felt a tiny bit like cheating.
On a walk in the woods I find a stone stairway anchored to the earth, as if it has been here a long time. Stepping up these stairs, I can imagine a house that has crumbled away, leaving behind leafy walls of color. Soon this curtain of foliage will fall away, but right now I stop to enjoy this magical tree house.