Thursday, October 31, 2013

The apple and the tree

I woke to the gauzy, unexpected light of snow in the air this morning. The flakes were unsure of themselves. New to the stage. They meandered and floated more than they actually fell. But they were there. We saw them. Huddled together for warmth on the roof of the barn, collected on the top edge of the windshield wipers, stuck in a spider's web. We saw them. 

Like shuttling through darkness, turning the bend and seeing that glimpse of light, we’ve broken through. No more waiting and wondering and lamenting and regretting and reminiscing about things, warm and breezy, easy things left behind.

Winter is approaching. Our world has been stripped bare and stands exposed, ready and waiting, unafraid, un-self conscious, unashamed of its nakedness. Prepared.

 Fall agitates. Winter soothes. Spring promises. Summer lulls.

How sensitive can one be to the seasons? How is it that the spinning of the earth, the proximity to the sun, the length of days, the attitude of light, the precipitation or lack of precipitation, can dictate my outlook, my chemistry?

Did I inherit this hyper connectedness? My children may be learning it from me.  The rain draws them outside to dance. Dark days soothe them. They love snow-- the smell of it, the look of it, the feel of it, the sound of it.

On this, one of the darkest mornings we’ve had in a year, the house was still dark, their eyelids shut tight, at 7:05 a.m.

"Wake up, wake up, we’re going to be late for school," I shouted. “No light. No light.” Isla said, scootching backwards under her blanket to escape the rudeness of the bedside lamplight.

And Esther, in the dim light coming through her attic window, her body shaped, no contorted, into its usual arched , jumping fish pose in a tangle of covers. Her head never in line with her feet. Nothing, not even the fear of being late for school, stirred these children.

That is until I mentioned the snow. In an instant they were up, wide eyed, running, barefooted, to the windows, down the stairs, back door flung open, hands out, tongues out, itching for a feel, or a taste, of the sky.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I cannot claim to love the fall


I cannot, will not, despite its wiles, claim to love it. Fall leaves me feeling weak. Superficial. I ignore her message, disregard her true character, while admiring her beauty.

How can something that is dying be so stunning? How can we walk amongst the death, feel it thick and moldering beneath our feet, hear the crunch of its fragile bones, smell it on the air, feel it in the anemic sunlight on our skin, yet revel so unabashedly, so irreverently, in its temperate nature? Nothing this good, this delicious, comes without consequence.

But we, I, do revel. I let my guard down. I allow myself to be bowled over. I comment, mindlessly, on the beauty of fall every single day.

It's turned the bend now. The mountains have transformed from feisty fashionistas, to aging, skeletal homeless ladies. A balding old man. A near -empty coat rack, just a few tattered jackets left hanging.

But the sun, she tries. Her dutiful perseverence is almost pathetic.

She's tiring. You can see weariness in her pale eyes. You can feel it in her nonchalant touch. She's growing weaker. Hesitant to rise in the morning. All too eager to retreat to the safety of that place, out of sight, beyond the horizon, below the distant mountain tops, at day's end.
A lot like me.