It is not a typically beautiful day. It is the kind of day that not everyone can appreciate. It is chilly, damp and there is a chill breeze. The sky is grey and overcast. A partly sunny day. As I begin my walk the breeze releases leaves that float down from the high branches to the path ahead of me. The limestone is wet from the rain earlier this week and in places the leaves are slick on the stony path. I stop and look across the gorge to the trees along the other rim, it seems that they have their own light in this grey day. Like nature’s neon the colors pulse against my eyes. I look up as a dark buzzard floats just above the tree tops, and listen as the geese call out to one another in the full lake below. We take the over used path and finish it quickly, turning to go back into the back areas of the park. I take off the dog’s leash thinking for only a moment of the recent tickets issued in another state park for unleashed dogs. Despite my fear we see no one which is why I had released him to begin with. Most people take the other trail down to the lake, or along the cliff edge. I would just as soon walk quietly here in the woods with the path strewn with red and gold leaves, like a “red carpet” but for a person who is not concerned about being on a best dressed list. My gems consist of only the pearls of my soul, and the ruby red of my heart, the diamonds of my integrity. I stop to take a picture and the dog stops too, to sniff. I wonder if later he will take out the smell and admire it as I do the picture I am taking. I wonder if the smells shine inside his nose as the breaking sun and brilliant leaves shine inside my eyes. It feels good to walk, I decide to call today giant leaf day as I see many huge leaves scattered here and there upon the normal sized ones. I become lost in my thoughts, for once not the painful ones, but instead of the obligation to speak to someone whom I share my deepest secrets with, but with whom I have no desire to speak to. I stop at the top of Pulpit Rock and I say I will not thank God today because I have been praying here for a year and still I think my prayers are unanswered. Instead I thank the park for getting me through this last year. It was the shining golden light of my heart. As I finish my big loop and am walking over the slick wooden bridge, I stop to listen to the water falling over the limestone, I wonder where this stream goes to because it stops and does not continue. I also think about the dry lake here that is often full one day and truly dry the next. I think there must be a huge underground lake here, I can explain it no other way. I am looking forward to the snow this winter. I have mapped out my path a limestone free walk that will be good for snowshoes. As I drive home I notice a sign that I have seen many times before, but suddenly it registers in my brain. A labyrinth and mediation area. Oh I have been wanting to do some thing like this for such a long time. Isn’t if funny how I drive by here three days a week and I never really read the sign. Isn’t it funny how very close to home it is too.