The rain falls steady on my world, and 'tis true, to some extent, this season. It is not truly cold yet, but the garden knows what my skin cannot. In the garden there is memory, trained as curled as any vine, the long tail of ancient consequence, and its reckonings I share. I agree with the mottled plants, the huge fallen Tulip Poplar leaves covered with the ravages of their short time up high, now, for the first time this season, somewhere I too glance with reckoning: my feet. They: burned through and burnished with the accretion of a season of viruses, and new labors for their aging tree. But I cannot shed my accretions, and so must sing with only emotion, this newest of seasons, my new scars, set down, and forever upon my skin.
How lovely, of course, this season. The mouldering remnants of the still hot world, with the fruit of the forest and field, piled high: on sale of course. The new colors of women's scarves and hats and boots, and the just beginning hint of a day still early, but lit by the fabled lights of man, near twilight. The loneliest, loveliest time of day.
I drive to a new job sight, a home a friend has recently bought, and we pull, him in his truck, and me behind him, down a long drive, crackling against the limestone gravel that is the gift of my towns bedrock. I comment to myself, since nobody is in my vehicle, goodness what as beautiful lot... the lawn and surrounding woods make a lovely secret place to live the fantasy of home and hearth. I look over, across the lawn and see a doe... a lone deer, tall and alert, but chewing something in the interstice of wood and lawn. She looks as mysterious as the winter seems in it's approach. I always forget the feeling each month brings. I never can remember... since, I suppose, these are deep and inarticulate things, not well worn by the mechanisms of logic and philosophy. I stand before weather, and cold, in the warm lit, remainder of a summer like yard with that doe: and can only know: for each of us time will bring what it will... but neither of us will choose the winter.
Of course, each winter brings so very many gifts. The frost heaves the dirt in mysterious and wonderful ways, and heaves a kind of enterprise into me along with it. The hunger for the warm abandon of different climes brings a frame of mind not available in times of ease. The cyclical setting forth of supplies for the day, and buttoning of coats and adjusting of hats, is it's own dance, with it's own kind of sensibility and mystery. The cold hands of a lover, cold lips, and shivering sound of a woman, as she half laughs and half shivers, is something lovely in a manner that almost makes it worth the cost of being a man. And other things, surely, pay the debt in full.
The smell of firesmoke is something, regardless of its danger to my health, that I always consider a kind of incense of the winter. The whole of the world tinged with its lovely preservative, meaning, and intimation, of food, warmth, longing, and everything else a children's book, from the perspective of an animal might call a "man thing." Being a "man thing" does smell a little of danger and death, but also the life supporting genius of fire.
Ultimately, I usually dread the hottest months of summer, and love the Spring above all. But a longer summer would drive me crazy, with super hot days, and azure blue skies, and the oppressive all consuming light of our nearest star. The autumn does not only mean the winter, of course. It also means the approach of my deepest time of family, at Christmas, and some changes in my work life, and practices, which come in handy, all things considered.
Also, all too soon, the Spring returns, with it's deadly threat of tornadoes, and all day thunder storms, floods, and hosts of golden daffodils. And what would Spring ever mean were it not for these Poplar leaves at my feet?