And, just like that, autumn closes and winter wakes behind the trees. It rained and blew all night, a hard rain blown in gusts against the dusty screens, streaking the windows and rattling the doors. The wind chimes sang a crazy six-note melody along with the wind, tonally perfect against the wild rustling of the dry leaves in the maples.
This morning the rain still falls, there is a chill in the wet wind - a winter wind - and the leaves have left the trees, some still cling but are loosing their grip in the downpour. The sky is gray, like steel, not with the tinge of blue or purple you see in Summer or Fall clouds, but the dark, low and ominous skies of snow and sleet.
It has been an inglorious fall. The sometimes red and yellow that can paint the Midwest have been muted with umber and sienna, ochre and loam. The woods are not ablaze this year, they are sepia. Curiously, the maple leaves in the back yard - turned an uninspired yellow with veins of sad green - have nearly all fallen face down showing their beige underbellies, ashamed of their lack of initiative this year.
I love the seasons. I love the cycle of renewal, growth, harvest, decay. I love storms and blizzards, lightning and thunder. The feel of August's blistering heat makes the biting chill of December somehow sweeter; the stinging wind and rain of March echoes the crunchy feel and taste of dusty, dry September.
I somehow need the wildness of weather just as I crave the wonder that is decay and rebirth.
Wildness and surety.
I have for as long as I can remember watched the sky, turned my head up to the stars, stopped for the sunsets, marveled at the rose. I've stood on mountains and mounds, in rivers and oceans, in dry desert and fertile creek bed. I have sat at this very table and watched the yard fill up with snow and at my childhood table doing the same. I've laughed along with young boys, marveling at the rain in the front yard and sun in the back; I've jumped into and out of a wall of rain in a meadow as a young man holding hands with a pretty girl.
I've observed so much outside, been drawn into it all. I've considered it, wondered at it, been mesmerized by it, but...
I think I know, now. It is so difficult to explain or even define our feelings. Words, though lovely, are sometimes so inadequate, impotent.
But... I could point to a driving thunderhead coming at me when I was thirteen - churning clouds and bright inner flashes and low, painful growls - and say that, that, is how I feel. Mixed up, beautiful, frightening, inexhaustible, wild.
I could point to a sunrise and say that is Love.
A shovelful of Ohio soil, rich and loamy and alive is Home - the essence of family, place and time.
The moon rising over city streets as a little girl looks on is Wonder.
Tulips and crocuses poking through dirty snow is Hope.
The crazy blizzard wind, shifting direction and blinding, crystalline snow is Fear.
There is Despair in the long dead, decaying doe over on the fenceline.
So many of my emotions and feelings find antecedents, find definition, in the seasons and the weather and the forces all around us.
Stars are Faith.
Flaming red maples are Victory.
Fire is Desire.
The woods are Safety.
The wind is Grace.
Sunsets are Forever.
I write a lot of words here, I appreciate you reading them.
I try, sometimes, to write on the words I've capitalized above, to describe them to you - and you dear boys. But they are enormous words, enormous thoughts, and my prose fails. I apologize for that, but, the rain is Truth and it is pouring out side.
Peace to you all... and Peace is a floating feather.
That's all. Take your feather and go...