Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Last week we had great Indian summer weather—dry, mid 70s, and filled with the rich smells of leaves and earth. I had a valid excuse to be outdoors for most of it, painting windows around the house from dawn to dusk. I didn’t like scrapping, sanding, and caulking, but the work needed to be done and the weather couldn’t have been better.

This week we’re in the 50s and 60s and it’s wet. It is not at all pleasant to sit outdoors in a jacket with the wind buffeting my hair.

And yet everywhere I look, there are dramatic splashes of red, orange, and yellows. Even the sky has its own drama going on as lower level clouds bunch up and higher-level clouds stretch out in long streaks and swirls that head in different directions. When the sun does poke through for an hour before the clouds flow back in, the blue of the sky is deep and mesmerizing.

I’ve formed warm-weather habits and expectations over the last six months that I’m not ready to let go. I don’t want to bundle up every time I go out the door. I know that I will mutter every time I forget my jacket and freeze as I drive to the store. I will scream when I neglect to bring my boots and a foot of snow comes down before I get back home. But I’ll adjust and begin to look forward to sliding around corners, shoveling, and hearing the quietness that only winter brings. And then I won’t want winter to end.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Frost - Edward Hirsch

There have been frost warnings the last two days, not that I’ve paid much attention because we did not plant a vegetable garden this year. But the news sank in and I realized this morning, as I looked into the intricate green lace of the woods behind the house, that soon it would be gone. One quick freeze and the green would turn yellow overnight. Then, with any kind of wind, all those yellow leaves would drop, leaving bare trees sticking up in the sun.

Poet Edward Hirsch spoke of the change of seasons this way: We suddenly “feel something invisible and weightless… It is the changing light of fall falling on us.”

Life changes quickly, faster than I want. Even with warnings, I’m reluctant to let go of what has become familiar, comfortable, nurturing. I don’t make transitions well. I settle into a season and expect it to stay that way. Life, meanwhile, makes adjustments every day, some large, some small, and I would notice this if I paid more attention. Perhaps I should wake up each morning excited to see what will be different today, instead of what is the same.