Riding back on our bikes from the beach as the sun was slowly falling towards the mountains, I noticed maple leaves turning red. Autumn always brings introversion. A time to take stock of the way the garden has turned out after the growing season; the way my feet look, with a flip-flop tan line and a callous from my bike shoes; the way my soul feels after months of expansion. I'm a bit reluctant this year to give up the goodness of summer, though I love fall more than any other season: for its gathering, its harvest, the leaves like fire spreading up the hills. But fall, with its sheer flaming beauty is like a lover that you know you can't keep, and before you've really learned its secrets, it's already gone. Piles of graying leaves and twiggy silhouettes in its wake; and with it, an inner shedding. An hesitation. Moments of silence. Loneliness creeps back up to the surface of things, waiting for snow fall.