Fall Lessons at Bear Mountain

Just as Spring brings hope, Fall embodies impermanence. The tender green leaves  of spring tell us that no matter how  harsh the winter, summer is around the corner. The multi-hued leaves of fall remind us that change is inevitable. Some leaves are blown and scattered by the wind, some float down gently, but  every  leaf tells the same story as it swirls and twirls to the ground.

“With Him are the keys of the unseen, the treasures that none know but He. He knows whatever there is on the earth and in the sea. Not a leaf falls but with His knowledge: " -Quran

“With Him are the keys of the unseen, the treasures that none know but He. He knows whatever there is on the earth and in the sea. Not a leaf falls but with His knowledge: “

“You are wasting a perfectly fine fall day”, the husband grumbles. I have to be done with my assignment before I can think of stepping out. ” I’ll be done in an hour or so, and then we can go.”, I assure him. An hour later I have wrapped my work, and turn around to see the him pick up his books just then. “Now who’s wasting the fine day?”

A quick research shows us that fall foliage is at peak at Bear Mountain, and as a bonus there’s an  Oktoberfest going on. With our destination locked in, we set out to meet and greet Fall, and catch up over a few beers. We meet Fall on the way to Bear Mountain itself; on the 7 lakes drive. This road seems to be made for enjoying fall foliage. With each turn it seems like Fall is swishing her multi hued skirt.


The world has fallen in love with a dream – Sant Kabir

The sky has turned cloudy, and if the weather changes we are going to be in trouble since we are dressed for a sunny fall afternoon. Suddenly the sun comes out and lights up the world. The reds and yellows warm up and the water shines lazily. We drink in the beauty with our eyes and drive on to Bear Mountain and the Oktoberfest.


The sound of colors is so definite that it would be hard to find anyone who would express bright yellow with base notes, or a dark lake with the treble – Wassily Kandinsky

Bear Mountain is beautiful too. The Oktoberfest is fun, if you are not expecting it to be a beer fest. We were. There is food (vegetarians rejoice for there are vegetarian options),  there are stalls selling Native Indian/American Indian wares, barbeques (Fi-Fie-Fo-Foo! I’m sure I smell some barbeque!), gorgeous landscape, music and laughter, but just 4 types of beer.

Sampling the wares

Sampling the wares (photo courtesy Ganesh Sankaran)


We found Fall so close to home. We decide to bring Amma here. She will be landing early tomorrow morning,  after a 16 hour journey across oceans and time zones. If she feels upto it, we will bring her here. She is sure to love it. It will be her first brush with Fall magic.


Amma, all bundled up, and the husband

Magic does happen. The night is cold, wet and windy. When we come back, many of the trees are bare. Gone are the fiery reds; the golden yellows; the muted orange. What is left is turning brown. We cannot believe our eyes. The sun is shining brightly, but it is cold and windy. Just yesterday, only 24 hours ago, the same drive looked so different.  Today, there is colour, but  only in patches.


“Nothing in the world is permanent, and we’re foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we’re still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it.” ― W. Somerset Maugham

I’m  disappointed Amma couldn’t have the same fabulous fall experience, but I’m glad we came yesterday. I’m glad we didn’t put it off to tomorrow or the next weekend. When we get a chance at something beautiful, we must take it. Life can change overnight. So pick up the phone, and make that call. Don’t just ask about a loved one, ask for them. Travel not just to see places, travel to meet people. Let them know how much they mean to you.  Tomorrow may not be as beautiful as today.


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