We have been closing up the family cottage for the winter this week. The familiar now somehow unfamiliar or perhaps is it the unfamiliar now somehow familiar? The sounds of summer have receded; replaced by the sounds of autumn; the sounds of silence. But it is more than sounds that make the familiar unfamiliar...it is all the senses converging that creates this new place within the familiar space. The lake now quiet and smooth as glass, pine cones dropping from tall pines nudged off their branches by industrious squirrels, leaves turning to crimson and gold and fluttering downward on the breeze, the air somehow different. Perhaps it is the pungent scent of mulching leaves, the mist that remains on the surface of the lake late into the morning, the blackness of the earth, or the hint of smoke from a fireplace that reminds me that nothing remains the same, that we are always in flux...even in the most familiar of surroundings. Season to season, year to year, the familiar becomes the unfamiliar and the unfamiliar becomes the familiar.