Catch this breath

October 24, 2011 § 2 Comments

Yellow against a blue sky. Fall out here is mostly yellow with a few dashes of red. I am thrilled with the fiery maples outside my apartment, like red candle flames flickering in the wind. The wind hasn’t blown them out. Yet. But already small leaves lie in the grass, and more will follow, one after another, as always, as the seasons fulfill themselves.

This week’s fall happinesses: Orange spice black tea. Maple syrup popcorn balls. Pumpkins, big and small, orange and white, smooth and bumpy. A warm mug of coffee in cold morning hands. My caramel-golden dog in the afternoon light, her coat complementing the fall colors as if she belongs with them, and so she does.

This is a passing moment. Such a beloved season of the year for so many people, including me, and I keep thinking about how I’ve got to take a picture of this tree, that barn, this week – or the season’s colors and textures might be gone. I am having camera troubles again – a new one may need to be on the Christmas list this year, or baby brother might need to have a look at this one the next time that I get to see him. Meanwhile it is instinctive for me to want to stop and get a shot, and frustrating to be unable to. And yet, can I turn this around and make it a good thing? Yes. I can pause a moment longer not for a photograph but for me. To notice with my own eyes, to linger to find the details, to take the time to capture these things not in a digital form but in my memory.

Yesterday Miss T. and I stopped by Coot Lake, just before sunset faded into twilight. The water looked deep blue in the shade, but in the open its peaks were lit white by the sun. A flock of ducks floated around near the shore, black silhouettes under the glowing leaves. We walked a path of gold and red, beneath arching limbs, and everything felt at once lit-up and cloaked in shadow.

The path takes you down to the reservoir, and T. and I skidded down the side of a slope and meandered through the drained, patterned surface where the water had receded. Far from the water the ground had already turned crusty, forming a series of solid little bumps and ridges. Closer to the water the ground became mud, also rippled but interrupted with a few trails of paw prints. Light rested on the surface of the water, making it silvery-white with the intensity of the low sun, just about to dip behind the mountains. A flock of geese lingered beyond, their necks long and graceful and black, their wings folded against their bodies as they floated in one group. Miss T. glanced at them, skipped a few feet in the water, watched as they lifted off to settle a few yards further from her, the potential predator.

The dog came back to sidle past me with her tennis ball, her eyes meeting mine all dark and glad. I tell myself this is why I need to bring her out to run and play more often. She is an animal, and though I am terribly glad she is my domesticated darling, it is good that she has a few moments of freedom, a few more sniffs at what is wild. I know I need this. These are evenings of remembering what to connect to. Where we are from.

The weather websites are predicting snow for Wednesday. Everyone speaks caution, prepares for changes in routine. I love snow and am not generally growly upon winter’s arrival – I tend to open my wool-clad arms and mittened hands to it! But the fall of these past two weeks has been so perfect, just absolutely what one wishes for, and I feel the need to cling to it for awhile.

It feels like I’m holding my breath. Stay. Stay, just a little longer.

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