In Honor of Autumn

The sun visited today, perhaps in honor of the first day of autumn…

I struck out for a little hike with some reluctance in my bones. (I’ve gotten ‘creaky’ ever since the return of the rains—Jim says I may make a great barometer yet! Am I that old?!) Today, I drove over to the trailhead to save both Louie and I a few paces. (He’s getting old too.)

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For old times’ sake we took the trail to Little Sliammon Lake. I was thinking as I trudged—it’s been 7 years since I discovered this trail. Back then it was a dark and eerie walk through old forest that blotted out the sun, inciting jumpiness—“What was that?!”.

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Since the latest clear-cutting the trail seems brighter and shorter. It’s been re-routed to skirt the clear-cut so you walk along just inside the edge of the forest overlooking a hillside of giant matchsticks in jumbled piles strewn over a stark wasteland.

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Not too picturesque, but brighter! The bears will love it come spring when the sun spawns new growth of bush and berry. In the meantime this lull between summer’s blooms and autumn’s blazing displays is pretty drab. Even a thistle is welcome color…

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Ahhhh…today we have the lake all to ourselves

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—rippled water dappled with cloud reflections and long silences broken only by raven call, the tremulous cry of a loon, and the whoosh of strong wings passing overhead. A dragonfly zips by on silent surveillance.

louie on dock

Restless with the stillness, Louie scrambles off to chase a squirrel. Its shrill alarm pierces the quiet. And so I sit on this rustic little dock a spell with no agenda (the camera battery has died with the lily pad shot)—listening to the silence and so commemorating the first day of fall.

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Others have waxed poetic about this interim season. I’ll leave you to enjoy one of my favorites. Enjoy! –LS

“Storing September”

You ask me what I did today.
I could pretend and say,
“I don’t remember.”
But, no, I’ll tell you what I did today—
I stored September.
Sat in the sun and let the sun sink in,
Let all the warmth of it caress my skin.
When winter comes, my skin will still remember
The day I stored September.
And then my eyes—
I filled them with the deepest, bluest skies
And all the traceries of wasps and butterflies.
When winter comes, my eyes will still remember
The day they stored September.
And there was cricket song to fill my ears!
And the taste of grapes
And the deep purple of them!
And asters, like small clumps of sky…
You know how much I love them.
That’s what I did today
And I know why.
Just simply for the love of it,
I stored September.

–Elizabeth B. Rooney
Sample others by this author at:
http://www.brighamfarm.com/september.html

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