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The Autumnal Arch

The autumnal arch, that celestial celebration of color and change, is drawing near. The cosmic river of time flows forward and empties into that invisible sea; a sea black and deep and unknowable, filled with every soul that has ever took breath upon this earth. Uncountable souls sail the invisible sea; no one escapes it, no one can avoid it. We will all be sailors on that sea and not one of us know when our ship is set to sail.

The solstice of summer far behind us, the solstice of winter ahead, autumn arches a bridge of rainbows between them. Kind and gentle at its start, harsh and bitter at its end, it is a glorious and breathtaking journey of color and tradition. Bright, blue, translucent October skies provide a perfect canopy for the blazing autumn hills and plains and valleys below. October walks are walks through majesty unequaled by anything the hand of humanity will ever create. Even with all its technology and special effects - humanity's best efforts pale in comparison to a single, brilliant autumn day.

Seasons come and seasons go but to the invisible sea the river of time continues to flow and we give it not even a passing thought - as if pondering it will bring us to its shore sooner than we would like. We are puppets to the power of time, dancing to its music and playing to its whims, we all are mere players on the stage of life. Not one of us is greater than another; not one of us is less than another. For how can one of us, regardless of color, religion, race, or nationality, be better or worse than another, when we all float precariously on the same river and we all end up on that same dark, unknowable, invisible sea?

It is not the destination, then, that is important, for the destination is always the same as it has always been. It is the joy of the journey we must learn to savor. Those who learn to treasure those transcendent moments of pleasure, love, and memories will be happy; those who treasure material things, things that rot and rust, will be forever in conflict over the loss of those things. The journey for those who treasure unseen things; those wonderful, ephemeral things of the heart will reach the shore of that invisible sea at peace with themselves. They will board the ship believing in unseen things and eager to experience what lies ahead.

Those whose treasures were tangible and material in life will, no doubt, rage against that sea, their anger and fury insignificant in the smothering silence of that ultimate darkness. Yet they will board that ship and take whatever journey they have earned, just the same. Whether kicking and screaming and raging against the inevitable, they will be bound and thrown onto the ship - unwilling passengers on the invisible sea. Alone in the darkness, material things stripped from them, these empty souls will be sailors on that sea nonetheless.

The autumnal arch stretches before us, a temporal bridge between the seasons. Let us walk though it together, and enjoy the journey for its own sake - oblivious to the destination.

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