Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Neighborhood scenes

On my way back from tai chi this morning, ran into a pumpkin man, getting ready for Halloween I presume.  He had wires running out of him and there was a mini speaker hooked up to the porch roof.  I can only imagine what he has planned for little ghosties and goblins coming 'round for trick or treat next weekend. (That is a leaf blower, not a wood chipper at his side, right?)  A second before I clicked to take the photo, the black cat appeared out of nowhere and got caught in the scene.  [insert soundtrack from the Twilight Zone, ha ha]

How autumn leaves are like people -
Some go out in a blaze of glory, notably transformed.
Some stay the same as they ever were, unchanged.
All get scattered, equal.
Tree cycles, recycles, leaf cycles, life cycles
they, we

Speaking of scattered . . .

Last leaf, standing

This is Maurice, our baby (now pre-adolescent) yellow birch tree, originally the size of one of those twiggy limb sprouts.  As of yesterday there were 17 leaves left on him.  (I counted them.)  This morning -- one left.

It's not yet cold enough but I smell snow in the air.  We had snow before Halloween last year.  Out walking I took four deep, long breaths, as if trying to absorb a music sensed but not yet heard.  There is something life-enervating about the air in late Fall and winter.  Like gas to a car, or a window out of complacency, it's like energy rushing through again, can't explain it.

People here groan once the foliage passes and frost sets in. Quite a few head for Florida.  Five months of snow/cold/longing for spring, etc., something to escape from, complain about, endure. Once the geese leave (and they have already, weeks ago), the air changes. You can smell snow coming.  Even when the weatherman says it won't, you can tell when you breathe in outside, he's wrong.  Is this an inherited thing, or something you acquire through affinity?  In any case, it's always invigorating, that first felt hint of arrival.  Not the fact of it, but what it awakens, vis-a-vis consciousness. Hard to explain but without it, certain fires inside would just plumb go . . . out.