Fall has this beautiful power over me. It can melt my heart, captivate my spirit, refresh my entire body with every step. Put me outside with crisp fall air, I promise you I will be a new person by the end of the day. Such was my experience the other day.
As October was coming to an end, I realized I had not done everything in my power to soak up the colors, the pumpkin spied scents, the mustard, scarlet, and crimson colors, blue skied wonder that consumes me every year at this time. So, in order to turn this around I went to a nearby mountain and lounged away the afternoon.
The older generation of Koreans love to hike. This common recreational activity is filled with an entire array of hiking gear that fills nearly half of the Home Plus shopping center basement. Complete with hats, backpacks, boots and hiking sticks these adorable people pack up food, soju (a kind of Korean alcohol similar to weakened vodka) and also Makaolli (Korean rice wine). Walking along as a waegook (Korean for foreigner) in the woods, I was greeted with many ‘hellos,” smiles, nods and enough friendly faces to replenish my hardened Seoul often smile-less face (shocking! I know).
When my soul had enough and the sun descended behind the trees, I walked myself down to the local coffee shop that I passed getting off the bus on the way there. The (I’m guessing) owner spoke English and struck up varied conversation; just like that a new relationship and favorite coffee shop was formed. I was there so long that he offered me multiple free refills, and a sweet woman who was there almost as long gave me several little clementines. What a sweet gesture! A heart warming day spent not too far away from home, but far enough outside of the city to be refreshing. Ah, fall, how I love thee.