…Notice Six Things… About the weekend when the season tips from late summer into fall
One entire ash tree flames from red to gold in a single day. I walk around it with my camera but conclude there is no way to capture what the setting sun looks like through its leaves so I try hard to memorize that moment.
A squirrel digs into a potted plant on the porch, I suppose hiding something for later. I line up twelve butternut squash, my proud harvest, on a cool basement shelf. Next, but only after a frost sweetens them, Brussels sprouts.
I paint the garage door with severe weather exterior latex. It’s dark green, with the consistency of heavy cream under the brush; a sensuous coat sinking into old wood to repel the next 20 years of wind blowing into it from the Northwest with snow and rain.
Somewhere nearby, someone has lit a wood fire, and the fall wind whirls the scent around us. No one burns leaves any more but it has that smoky twang that I remember, from when we were more careless about the planet; a habit given up too late.
A potluck dinner: twelve old friends. We worked together in the mid seventies, and we meet like this, twice a year, to remember that era which our friend Patty refers to as Camelot, compared to the human services environment of today. The summer menu of salads and hummus and fruit plates and grilled chicken has given way to crock pots and casseroles, soup and bread. Shirley, having finished a difficult course of chemotherapy last month, sits in the circle, and watches quietly.
One more night with the bedroom windows open, with the wind shifting sometime during the night, with the soft sound of swaying branches; leaves collecting in the corners of the porch.
A blessing for being in between. May everyone remain as brilliant, resourceful, sensuous, smoky, twangy, funny, satisfied, well fed and healthy , as deeply amused and deeply connected, as sweetly cool as they are at this moment.
(Note that as I am organizing my new blog, I am posting some essays from another site. This was written in fall 2007 and I repost it now, thinking of our dear friend Shirley Dean, who died in July 2010)